Higher education: Proposed Methodological Updates
|Proposed changes to Moody's higher education methodology include combining two methodologies, revisions to the scorecard, and assignment of issuer level ratings.|
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Susan Fitzgerald is an Associate Managing Director in Moody’s Public Finance Group and manages Moody’s Global Higher Education and Not-for-Profit Ratings Team. The team rates nearly 800 colleges, universities, and not-for-profit institutions worldwide. Susan has extensive public finance experience, serving as a senior analyst on both the higher education and health care ratings teams. She has also been involved in various initiatives related to ESG analysis, charter schools, intercept ratings, and public-private partnerships. Susan originally joined Moody’s in 1994 and rejoined in 2013 after a 6 year hiatus.
Susan’s other prior work experience includes managing the financial advisory practice at a boutique investment banking and advisory firm; serving as commercial credit analyst for a community bank; owning and operating an art gallery and a bed and breakfast; and as the assistant director of development, focused on foundation and corporate relations, for a graduate school.
Susan holds a Master’s degree in International Studies (European Studies and Economics) from The Johns Hopkins University, School of Advanced International Studies. Her A.B. degree in Diplomacy and World Affairs, with a minor in Economics, is from Occidental College, Los Angeles.
Dennis Gephardt is a Vice President – Senior Credit Officer on Moody’s Higher Education and Not-for-Profit Team with over one dozen years of experience in the industry. He is the lead analyst for a diverse portfolio of colleges and universities as well as a variety of not-for-profit organizations. He serves on Moody’s liquidity and charter school task force groups. Dennis was the lead author for the several rating methodologies, including the one for Not-for-Profit Organizations (other than Healthcare and Higher Education). He has authored publications on various higher education topics including liquidity, the credit challenges of small colleges, and mergers within the sector.
Dennis graduated from the Fuqua School of Business at Duke University with an MBA. Dennis holds a BA and an MA in History from the New College of Florida and the College of William and Mary, respectively.
Jeanne Harrison joined Moody’s in early 2014 as an Analyst in the Sub-Sovereign Group with a focus on UK housing associations.
Immediately prior to joining Moody’s, Jeanne worked as an FP&A Analyst for The Hyde Group, a London-based housing association. Her primary responsibilities were delivering the Group five-year business plan, stress testing, and peer analysis. Previously, she worked as a management accountant in the higher education sector with responsibility for budgeting, forecasting, and monthly management accounts.
Jeanne holds a BSc in Finance from Florida State University and is a Chartered Management Accountant.
Chris Collins is an Assistant Vice President - Analyst for the Higher Education and Not-for-Profits Ratings Team covering higher education and not-for-profit institutions across the United States, with concentrations in the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic and Midwest. He has authored research on the impact of state budgets on higher education, mergers and affiliations, and tuition-free community college programs.
Prior to joining Moody’s, Chris worked for the City of New York’s Mayor’s Office of Management and Budget on a task force overseeing the Department of Education’s budget. Prior to working for the City of New York, Chris was a social studies teacher in Massachusetts. Chris holds an MPP from Brown University and a BA from the University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth.