GRTA’s new executive director knows Xpress buses from passenger’s seat

Just minutes after he was named GRTA’s executive director, Chris Tomlinson was busy Wednesday talking about potential synergy between GRTA and the state agency that oversees managed lanes.

“We’ll roll out incentives to get more people to take advantage of transit,” Tomlinson said. “We hope to shift people out of vehicles, especially at the peaks, and take advantage of what transit providers already are doing.”

Another historically black university in Georgia faces weak finances, negative credit rating from Moody’s

Another historically black university in Georgia has been dinged by a credit rating agency that reported the school had just 20 days of cash on hand on June 30, 2013 and now faces a $2 million shortfall.

Fort Valley State University received a negative outlook from Moody’s Investors Services in a rating action dated Dec. 18. The rating came despite Fort Valley’s affiliation with the University System of Georgia, a relation that has helped Fort Valley in the past.

In July 2012, the affiliation helped Fort Valley achieve an investment grade rating of A3 on bonds sold to finance student housing. In December 2013, Moody’s affirmed its previous decision to lower the bond rating from investment grade to Baa1, a medium investment grade with some speculative risk.

Juanita Jones Abernathy, John S. Wilson to be honored with formal reception by Atlanta City Council

The Atlanta City Council will honor a civil rights leader of the past and an academician for the future at an April 15 reception at Atlanta City Hall.

Juanita Jones Abernathy marched with Martin Luther King Jr. and has continued her work in the human rights and corporate arenas. John S. Wilson is the 11th president of Morehouse College, King’s alma mater, taking the helm in a transitional era for the country’s institutions of higher learning.

The reception is slated from noon to 1 p.m., in advance of a council meeting at which the council is expected to catch its breath after its March 18 approval of public financing for the Falcons Stadium.


John Wilson — Morehouse’s new president — has high ambitions

By Maria Saporta

Published in the Atlanta Business Chronicle on Friday, March 15, 2013

John S. Wilson grew up in Philadelphia going to a church where the pastor was a “Morehouse Man” — meaning someone who had graduated from Atlanta’s Morehouse College.

“I think he preached about Morehouse as much as he preached about Jesus,” Wilson said. “I followed that path.”

Morehouse College credit rating cut, Kennesaw State University stable, in volatile higher ed bond market

Morehouse College, the alma mater of Martin Luther King, Jr., has received a credit rating that’s barely investment grade, and with a negative outlook, on $23.4 million in bonds to be sold this week. The rating is just three notches above a rating of speculative.

Kennesaw State University has received a credit rating that’s solid investment grade, and stable, on $41.6 million in bonds slated for sale last month.

These two ratings illustrate the divergence of credit risk among Georgia’s institutions of higher learning. As state lawmakers consider Gov. Nathan Deal’s proposal to borrow almost $200 million this year to expand facilities at public colleges and universities, they face going to market in a sector dinged as negative across the board by Moody’s Investors Services.