William Woods University will join a small and prestigious group of private colleges Sept. 1 by becoming debt free. During her back-to-school address Aug. 20, Dr. Jahnae H. Barnett, WWU president, announced the university will pay off the remainder of the $8 million in bonds issued in the late 90s.
Barnett noted the bond payments were scheduled to continue until 2025.
[quote align=”center” color=”#999999″]“As we reviewed our options, we discovered we could save more than $1.3million by paying off the bonds in September. This savings, coupled with the refinancing of the bond in 2008, resulted in a total savings of $2.8 million during the shortened lifetime of the bond.”[/quote]
The early payment of the bonds is a continuing demonstration of WWU’s sound financial management and return on investment generated by the university’s conservative approach to the management of its endowment.
[quote align=”center” color=”#999999″]“It is a common practice that most institutions of higher education will use the earnings from their endowment for operational expenses. Since 2000, William Woods has never used endowment earnings to bolster our annual operational budget. Instead, these funds have been made available for reinvestment,”[/quote]
[quote align=”center” color=”#999999″]“By reinvesting our earnings and locking in the profit, we are substantially reducing our risk of downturn. These practices substantially increase gains on investment.”[/quote]
These financial strategies have had a major impact on the bottom line of the university.
[quote align=”center” color=”#999999″]“For 13 consecutive years, William Woods has ended each fiscal year in the black. We have never gone over budget,”[/quote] Barnett said.
The university’s sound financial base has been bolstered by responding to the ever-changing needs of students over the years. In addition to a strong on-campus undergraduate enrollment, the university’s evening programs and the newly developed online programs are thriving and growing.
[quote align=”center” color=”#999999″]“Even though we demonstrate conservative financial practices, we have always known that we have to take educated risks as we move forward academically,”[/quote] Barnett said.
The university’s value has not gone unnoticed. Recently, two respected educational ranking services, AC Online and College Database, have recognized William Woods for providing high quality education at an affordable price and for the value of a WWU degree.
[quote align=”center” color=”#999999″]“From our faculty and staff, to our alumni and donors, everyone works to make William Woods a great place for our students to succeed, both in the classroom and in life after graduation.”[/quote] Barnett said.