Disclosure Policy & University Update
Wilkes University provides information to investors in the form of both covenanted continuing disclosure (posted on EMMA external website – the Electronic Municipal Market Access website maintained by the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board) and voluntary disclosure of supplementary information of interest to investors, at times offered in the form of Frequently Asked Questions found below.
On November 22, 2021, Standard & Poor’s published a new rating report for the University. In that report, S&P explains its decision to affirm the University's rating of BBB- (stable outlook).
The University’s current Fact Book is also available for review.
Questions not addressed through information obtained from EMMA or in the FAQs on this site may be posed to the University by email sent to this address: email@example.com. The University makes every effort to respond to inquiries subject to the application of its policies on continuing disclosure. Responses may be included in additional FAQs posted on this website.
The University experienced a decline in undergraduate enrollment in the 2020-2021 academic year due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Undergraduate enrollment in 2021-2022 stabilized but declined in 2022-2023. Both graduate and second degree nursing enrollment have increased in the past two years as a result of the University’s partnership with Keypath Education.
Update on Academic Programs
As part of a comprehensive academic portfolio review, the university identified five existing undergraduate programs and three graduate programs that were no longer feasible and is nearing completion of the teach-out for students enrolled in those programs. A few additional programs were identified for focused assessment of what changes need to be made in order to make them more attractive to students. This work is now in the on-going phase and will be part of the on-going process of programmatic review.
The University has also launched new academic offerings in Civil Engineering and Cannabis Chemistry that have already shown significant student demand.
The University reported two years of operating surpluses in FY22 and FY21. These surpluses can be partially attributed to an increase in governmental funding through the Higher Education Emergency Relief Funds (HEERF). The University received three rounds of HEERF funding to offset the financial impact of COVID-19 for both students and the university. In total the University received and fully expended approximately $7.5M in institutional funds over three years. These funds were used to offset costs related to closing the campus in March 2020, reopening efforts, virus mitigation and lost revenue due to the pandemic. In addition, the University received $5.9M of funds that were provided directly to students.
The recent surpluses follow two years of operating deficits in FY20 and FY19. Prior years beginning with FY11 had produced consistent operating surpluses. The University has committed to budget conservative enrollment goals considering the changing demographics in the Northeast that are impacting current and future admissions. Continued focus on graduate programs, primarily graduate nursing, will assist the University in achieving its financial goals. The University seeks alternative revenue sources and is committed to managing expenses.
Update on Debt
The University’s cash position remains stable due to two years of operating surpluses and minimal capital expenditures over the past two years. The University maintains a $5M operating line of credit. This line of credit has not been drawn in the past several years.
Update on Capital Improvements
In recent months, the University has completed nearly $10 million dollars in capital improvements to the campus and surrounding areas as outlined below.
Nesbitt School of Pharmacy
The University enhanced the Stark Learning Center with new classrooms, labs and collaboration spaces that will significantly enhance pharmacy facilities while continuing to produce graduates who are ready to meet the needs of 21st century health care. The project was partially funded through a $2 million in Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program funding from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
Moveable seating, new projection technology, powered retractable screens, visual display boards and television monitors that can be seen from every corner of the rooms will usher in an enhanced era of cutting-edge teaching and scholarship, hands-on learning and mentoring.
Seven new classrooms of varying sizes holding up to 24 to 90 students
Two new collaboration rooms capable of holding up to 12 individuals
One new Care Lab with six collaboration desks and 30 moveable seats
One new conference room for 20 individuals
In addition, the exterior portals facing S. River St. on the first floor of Stark Learning Center have been enclosed with glass, beautifying the space inside and out while creating the best environment for learning and scholarship.
Construction began during spring break 2022 and was substantially completed prior to the beginning of the fall 2022 semester, with completion of the project expected by the end of the calendar year.
Stark Learning Center
The University recently completed enhancements to several engineering labs include new flooring, ceilings, energy-efficient lighting, white boards and lab benches in the Stark Learning Center. New windows were added to enhance visibility while new flexible doors allow ease in collaborating and moving equipment between lab spaces. In addition, facade enhancements on the upper floors of the building beautified the exterior of the building with new energy-efficient windows.
Since 2017, Wilkes University has completed streetscape enhancements on several blocks surrounding campus and in downtown Wilkes-Barre, reinforcing its role as a community partner. Enhancements include new sidewalks, trees lighting, curb repairs and raised crosswalks in select areas to aid in the safety of pedestrian traffic.
In summer 2022, the next phase of the streetscape project commenced on S. Franklin and W. South streets in the block of the Arnaud C. Marts Center. In addition, a new pedestrian walkway was installed near the Ralston Athletic Complex. This phase started in July 2022 and will be completed in the summer of 2023.
These projects were primarily funded by grant funding from the Transportation Alternatives Program administered by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation. The latest phase of the projects has been substantially completed.
Henry's Dining Hall
When students returned to campus in August 2022, they were greeted by a recently enhanced dining hall. The project included a newly renovated kitchen and serving area including new grills and pizza oven, improved serving lines and a more suitable flow to complement the dining experience at Wilkes.
Last Update: 10-2022