Moody’s Investors Service has affirmed the Aa1, Aa1/VMIG1 and P-1 ratings on Cornell University’s outstanding bonds and commercial paper, and revised the outlook to stable from negative.

The stable outlook reflects a “rebound in philanthropy, ongoing focus on expense containment and improved operating performance in FY 2010 and 2011, and no additional direct debt anticipated in the next two years,” Moody’s said.

The Ithaca-based university has $1.9 billion of rated debt outstanding.

Moody’s cites as strengths Cornell’s very strong student market position, highly diversified revenue base and strong management and governance.

High balance sheet and operating leverage, thin operating cash-flow margins, and plans to establish a campus on Roosevelt Island, with uncertain funding sources, are listed as challenges. 

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