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University of Missouri System’s credit outlook is lowered

A leading bond-rating company is downgrading the outlook of the University of Missouri System’s credit rating.

Standard & Poor’s announced Monday that the outlook of the four-campus system’s AA+ credit rating has dipped from stable to negative. The agency says in a report that maintaining the current rating on the system’s facilities revenue bonds will require a “marked improvement in available resources to debt.”

The report also touched on the departures of two top administrators amid student protests over the handling of racial issues on the Columbia campus. The report says the upheaval could “affect demand and enrollment in the short term.”

System spokesman John Fougere says the rating will “remain exceptionally strong” compared to “higher education peers” regardless of whether S&P ultimately classifies it as AA+ or AA.

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