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PCC Earns High Rating from Bond Agency

May 13, 2013

Strong finances allow College to retain Aa1 designation from Moody’s

Tucson, AZ – Moody’s Investor Service has expressed confidence in Pima Community College’s creditworthiness by affirming the College’s Aa1 designation, the second-highest rating awarded by the bond agency.

In affirming the rating, Moody’s cited the College’s “strong financial position” and “history of conservative fiscal practices.” It noted that the College has a solid financial base, enjoys ample liquidity and is supported by Pima County’s diverse, stable economy.

“The Moody’s rating report is clear confirmation that PCC has been and will continue to be a prudent steward of public funds,” said Executive Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administration Dr. David Bea.

Moody’s is one of three major bond rating firms that issue reports on the creditworthiness of governmental and commercial entities.

Moody’s recognized that the College has been placed on probation by the Higher Learning Commission but noted that “it is likely that the district will remedy the deficiencies” related to administration and governance. As a result of the HLC’s action, Moody’s assigned the College a negative outlook and wrote “should the issue be resolved within the next two years and the college’s financial position remains stable or improved, it is likely the negative outlook could be removed.”

“The College is completely focused on addressing the concerns raised by the HLC, and is confident it will regain the complete confidence of the HLC and the public,” Dr. Bea said. “By Moody’s adding the negative outlook to the rating, it draws appropriate attention to the importance of our accreditation status.”

Moody’s said that PCC’s “outstanding $3.3 million of general obligation debt represents a minimal 0.005% of full value (2014) and is scheduled to mature in 2015,” and viewed its debt outlook as favorable because the College has no plans to issue debt in the near future.

“We have worked hard during the financial crisis over the past number of years to decrease our debt and create sustainable budgets while weathering large reductions in state appropriations and decreasing property tax valuations,” Dr. Bea said. “Moody’s Aa1 designation is one result of our efforts. Another is something that impacts each of our students – our success in making sure that Pima’s tuition remains as low as possible.

C.J. Karamargin
Vice Chancellor for Public Information and Federal Government Relations
(520) 206-4850