Category Archives: Alabama

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SIAC Moves Football Championship to Montgomery’s Cramton Bowl

The Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference today announced a unanimous vote from its council of presidents to move the conference football championship to Montgomery, Ala. The deal will seal a place for one of the nation’s most popular NCAA Division II football conferences and its annual title game in the Cramton Bowl through 2017.
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Moodys-Office

Moody’s Downgrades Alabama State, Howard Credit Ratings

Moodys-OfficeMoody’s Investor Services this week downgraded the credit ratings of Alabama State University and Howard University, citing instability in leadership and financial struggles at both institutions.

The agency attributed the Alabama State downgrade to Ba1 from Baa1 to “weak governance” and the recent Southern Association of Colleges and Schools’ accreditation warning status. Among the listed challenges:

*ASU has had significant governance and management challenges, which have led to and been exacerbated by extraordinary events, such as a forensic audit, presidential turnover, and accreditation challenges that limit ability to focus on core operational improvement.

*Management’s inability or unwillingness to significantly address a growing structural deficit are symptoms of weak controls that will lead to continued financial deterioration absent material and timely corrective action.

Howard’s downgrade from Baa1 to Baa3 was largely attributed to continuing financial struggles with Howard University Hospital, and slowed revenues from federal funding sources.

*Hospital operations continue to pressure consolidated operations. The Howard University Hospital is projected to have lost approximately $37 million for fiscal year (FY) 2014 as a result of declining admissions and a weakening payer mix. A planned reduction in force during FY 2014 was blocked by unions, preventing the hospital from realizing planned savings.

*Federal revenues have not kept pace with cost escalation. Sequestration resulted in a $9 million real reduction of federal appropriations during FY 2014. Grant awards are also down.

Alabama State is the second public university in the state to ban smoking on campus in as many weeks (with Auburn).

Alabama State Forensic Audit Lawsuit Dismissed

Telling Alabama State University attorneys ‘Alabama is where you belong,’ a federal court judge today dismissed the university’s lawsuit against a forensic audit firm that produced a scathing critique of its financial dealings last year.

AL.com reports that Superior Court Judge Richard Fruin dismissed the case against Forsenic Strategic Solutions, a Birmingham-based company, based upon the dispute originating in Alabama with Alabama-based litigants, perceived damages, and actions.

In court documents, ASU alleged the report, which was released to the public by the governor’s office, was intentionally false and misleading, intended to attack the university and detrimentally impact its credit rating.

As grounds for filing the suit in California instead of Alabama, the university argued in court filings that ASU has a large alumni population in California and that FSS has an office in California — though business records show that office closed in 2010.

The university was placed on accreditation warning by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges last week, citing issues with governance and financial standing.

Peter Millet

Stillman Announces Peter Millet as Permanent President

Peter MilletStillman College has appointed Pete Millet as the permanent president of the institution. Dr. Millet previously served as college provost and interim president after the resignation of Ernest McNealey in September 2013.

In a release, college officials praised Millet’s leadership and service to the college.

“We are confident that Dr. Millet’s vision, expertise and dedication will lead Stillman in the right direction to continue producing quality graduates who contribute successfully to society. His academic achievements and public service commitments are representative of the Stillman history and tradition. Our decision will position Stillman to strengthen its academic learning environment to attract the best and brightest students,” said Board of Trustees Chairman Tracy Rosser.

Dr. Millet will begin his tenure as permanent president on July 1.