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January 21, 2009
BOULDER—The University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR) has had its A+ long-term rating and underlying rating affirmed this month by credit rating agency Standard & Poor's for the eighth consecutive year.
UCAR, a consortium of 73 universities with Ph.D. programs in the atmospheric sciences and related disciplines, manages the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) under sponsorship by the National Science Foundation (NSF). It had an annual budget of $210 million in fiscal year 2008.
In its report, Standard & Poor's cited UCAR's long and mutually beneficial relationship with NSF, its stable and growing membership base, and manageable levels of annual debt servicing (3.9 percent of budget) as reasons for its consistently high credit rating.
Dan Wilson, director of treasury operations at UCAR, says the organization works hard to maintain a high credit rating as it translates to a lower cost in debt servicing.
"Given the current tough economic conditions in the U.S. and world, we're happy to maintain our A+ credit score and our stable rating," he says.
Kathryn Schmoll, UCAR vice president for finance and administration, says that while research funding has come under pressure in recent times, UCAR's funding sources remain committed to the organization, which signals continued confidence in UCAR's significance to the research community.
"Like many organizations in these difficult economic times, UCAR has tightened its budget and taken responsible steps to ensure continued sound financial management," Schmoll says. "Standard & Poor's stable outlook for UCAR reflects this."
The University Corporation for Atmospheric Research manages the National Center for Atmospheric Research under sponsorship by the National Science Foundation. Any opinions, findings and conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.