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U of Puerto Rico Faces Massive Budget Cut

February 28, 2017
 
 

Ratings agencies are watching as turmoil unfolds at the University of Puerto Rico amid the island's continuing economic crisis.

S&P Global Ratings has taken note of major management turnover at the university, it said in a release Monday. The university's interim president and 10 of its 11 campus chancellors announced their resignations Feb. 17, although several chancellors ultimately decided not to leave. That wave of resignations came after the federal control board overseeing Puerto Rico's finances proposed a $300 million cut to the university's operating budget. Faculty and students at several campuses have gone on strike to protest the leadership disruption and proposed cuts.

Two series of the university's bonds are rated CC/Negative by S&P, indicating the agency believes default is a "virtual certainty." Puerto Rico's governor previously signed an executive order suspending the university's monthly payments for its debt obligations. That order originally ran through Jan. 31, but it now remains in effect until further notice.

(This story has been updated to note that several campus chancellors ultimately decided not to resign. It has been corrected to note the correct title of the campus leaders resigning as chancellors and to note that the federal control board originally proposed the cut to the university budget.)

 
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