Bond plan gets approval

Joel Sawyer

The Board of Regents approved a resolution Thursday giving University administrators the power to restructure more than $189 million of the University’s $300 million debt.
The resolution, which was passed by the regents during their monthly Financial Operations Committee meeting, should save the University more than $500,000 a year over the next five years.
Under the terms of the plan, the University will issue new bonds to buy out bonds that it purchased in 1985 and 1991. Those bonds, which were issued to help finance hospital and telecommunication projects and the construction of Mariucci Arena, will be replaced by lower-interest, variable-rate bonds.
Although many regents found the complex bond plan hard to understand, they praised administrators for the innovative cost-saving measure.
“This is a win-win situation,” said Regent William R. Peterson.
The new bonding plan will lower interest rates and eliminate the remarketing fees that the University has paid to its investors in the past.
The financial operations committee also approved plans for a third deck to be added to Williams Arena.
The $2.3 million plan, called the Williams Loft Project, would build 19 open-air luxury suites to be purchased by corporate sponsors. The suites would house between eight and 20 people and would cost between $30,000 to $35,000 each.
No time table was set for the construction of the suites.
The regents also reviewed a new World Wide Web site that contains the University’s financial reporting system. Richard Pfutzenreuter, associate vice president for University finance and operations, said the site should increase the efficiency and delivery of financial data at the University.
“This is an example of the University using technology that ultimately gets rid of reports on paper,” Pfutzenreuter said.
The system will allow authorized users to access University financial information if they have the appropriate identification numbers, passwords and account numbers. Users will be able to view and send detailed reports via fax or e-mail rather than making volumes of paper copies.
The new Web site is part of an attempt by the University to decrease its dependency on paper products and increase its reliance on computer-based information.