UF and BU merger creates buzzes around campus

By Emily Byglin, ByglinE@Findlay.edu

The proposed merger between the University of Findlay (UF) and Bluffton University (BU) has students on both campuses buzzing about what it means for their future.

Allie McGaughy, freshman social work major at BU, discussed her interest in attending either UF or BU when starting college, but ultimately ended up at BU.

“I really liked how small the campus was and I liked how the campus looked,” McGaughy said. “Everyone seemed very welcoming and like everyone liked being here.”

For Grant Patton not only was it about the social work major, but it was also about the swim & dive team.

“Their coach reached out to me to see if I was interested and despite Bluffton not being my first choice, I showed a little more interest,” Patton said.

Gage Shellenbarger, information technology (IT) major said he enjoys the small campus and the connections he’s created.

The University of Findlay and Bluffton University (BU) signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on March 20, 2024. The merger offers students more resources since the campuses are 20 minutes apart from each other.

While the news of the merger was surprising, BU students still have many questions and concerns about the merger, and how campus will be affected by it.

“Is Findlay going to fully absorb Bluffton, or will we still stay our own separate school?” McGaughy asked.

The news of the merger concerned students at Bluffton University.

“My first reaction was more so concerned,” Patton said. “I didn’t know if the merger was just another way of saying Bluffton had gone under and Findlay was absorbing us.”

After more information being provided about the upcoming merger, it set students at both Universities at ease.

“I’ve come to terms with it, but the future is still unknown, so I don’t fully know how to feel,” McGaughy said.

While the merger is anticipated for fall of 2025, McGaughy is looking at her options on whether to stay at BU or to transfer to UF.

“I would stay at Bluffton because I still really like the campus and the professors and Bluffton is closer to home,” McGaughy said.

While there haven’t been any announcements of changes to either University at this time, many wonder what these changes will be.

“Will tuition for classes be raised for specific majors?” Patton asked.

While the merger is an ongoing process, both UF and BU have held town hall meetings with both Presidents, Dr. Katherine Fell and Dr. Jane Wood, to address questions about the merger at both universities.

To get more information about the merger and when town hall meetings are held visit the joint website, www.FindlayBlufftonFuture.com.