University of Missouri credit outlook downgraded to negative

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Academic Hall on the campus of University of Missouri - Columbia. (Photo by Michael B. Thomas/Getty Images)

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) _ A major financial ratings agency has downgraded the University of Missouri system’s credit outlook from stable to negative, citing enrollment declines on the flagship campus in Columbia and declining state revenue.

Moody’s Investor Services on Thursday also affirmed the university’s Aa1 credit rating, the second highest rating possible. Moody’s said the university’s revenue and overall financial health give it the flexibility to deal with year-to-year financial challenges.

System President Mun Choi said in a news release Friday that the university recognizes the financial challenges presented by declining enrollment and state funding cuts.

Moody’s acknowledges that the university has planned options for revenue growth and cost reductions, but said the new management’s ability to deliver on those plans is not yet proven. Choi has been president since March 1.