Statement on the University of Chicago's credit rating

In response to an inquiry this week about the University’s credit ratings, Andrew Alper, Chair of the Board of Trustees, provided the following statement to Crain's Chicago Business:

“The Board of Trustees’ goal is to support the University’s investments in academic eminence, balancing financial and programmatic risk and opportunity.  In so doing, we have chosen to take advantage of record low interest rates and access the public debt markets to make bold investments in the academic priorities articulated by our faculty, deans, provost, and president. At the same time, we have mitigated financial risk through targeted expense reductions, increased liquidity, reduced risk in the endowment, and increased fund raising. While this strategy has had a short-term negative impact on some of our financial metrics, the University’s ability to attract and retain outstanding faculty and students, the strength of its research, the quality of the educational experience, and the impact these areas have on the world has never been greater. 

“The trustees’ comfort with our financial position and our enthusiastic support for this strategy is evident in the recently approved public launch of a $4.5 billion capital campaign.  Nearly $800 million of the approximately $2.1 billion already raised in the quiet phase of the campaign has come from trustees in a clear vote of confidence in the University’s leadership and momentum.”