UF staff wonder what the future holds following the merger

By Anthony Johson, JohnsonC19@Findlay.edu

University of Findlay staff are optimistic about the future of the University of Findlay after the announcement of the Findlay and Bluffton merger.

On March 20, the presidents for UF and Bluffton University announced the two universities will partner, becoming one University but two college campuses.

This announcement came to the surprise of many, including the faculty and staff at the University of Findlay.

Although many were surprised by the news, many were not shocked, such as Charlie Ernst, head Men’s basketball coach at the University of Findlay.

“Anyone that’s worked in higher education for a long time realizes that there’s private colleges around the country closing,” Ernst said.

Notre Dame College, in South Euclid, Ohio, closed at the of this spring semester for financial reasons.

“Private colleges, in the Midwest especially, are always looking at ways to save money, minimize expenses, and maximize money coming in,” Ernst said. “This is probably being done to prepare for the future more than to take care of a current problem.”

Both universities stated in the initial announcement and subsequent meetings that neither university is facing financial instability but rather, looking ahead to the changing dynamics of higher education.

“The merger alone might be enough just to keep our campuses working,” UF faculty Carla Treadway.

According to the official University of Findlay Bluffton University Merger website, the home page says, “We are confident that our home roots and enduring values will ground us in the face of change.” This is regarding the unknowns of the future and suggests this merger will bring a solid base to a future that is changing.

Faculty at Findlay, such as Treadway, assistant professor of teaching in business, are not too concerned about their jobs being affected by the merger.

“I think it will be pretty much how it is now,” Treadway said.

Ernst believes that this change will happen within the administrative systems of the University of Findlay and Bluffton University. A change such as the class selection system, admissions and other internal activities could be impacted the most.

“The biggest impact will be internal,” Ernst said.

Treadway said that she believes that Bluffton will accommodate to whichever system, such as Workday or Canvas at Findlay, that is more established, meaning if Bluffton has a completely different system when it comes to scheduling classes or handling finances, then Bluffton University will adjust in some way to make it work. Although it is speculation and a guessing game by those that are not within the process of making the decisions, staff members have their own vision of the future for these two universities.


“I think it will increase our footprint,” Treadway said. “Just adding another campus under the umbrella of the University of Findlay.”

Treadway believes that this will be an equal change for both campuses.

“If anything, I see both campuses increasing our communication to a higher standard,” Treadway said.

UF and BU campuses are 20 miles away from each other. The short distance can provide a connection of campuses for staff and students. The staff members from the business and athletic department see opportunities within their department from the merger. They are not sure what it will look like, but there are ideas of how each university will take advantage of having two campuses instead of one.

Ernst believes that this could be helpful for the athletic department in multiple ways.

“Let’s just say something is going on on-campus and all the gyms are full and we’re in the middle of our practice time, maybe we can drive down to Bluffton and get on their court,” Ernst said.

There are many opportunities that are yet to be figured out. The merger website has a FAQ section to try to answer questions popping up in both communities. The merger will not take effect until the fall semester of 2025.