Board member welcomed


2021 Bluffton University Board of Trustees

2021 Bluffton University Board of Trustees

1998 business graduate from Bosnia and Herzegovina named to the board

The Bluffton University Board of Trustees met Oct. 1-2, 2021, for their annual fall meeting. The board took part in the groundbreaking of the Austin E. Knowlton Science Center, celebrated the university’s growing enrollment and reviewed academic program assessment measures.

A new board member was also named and a scholarship was established in memory of a Bluffton alumna.

After the Oct. 1 groundbreaking, construction is now underway on the Austin E. Knowlton Science Center at Bluffton University. The $10 million, nearly 20,000 square foot building will feature six labs, faculty offices and interactive collaborative space for students. The building will feature teaching labs for nutrition and dietetics, chemistry and biology and is expected to open in 2023. 

Bluffton University’s enrollment continues to grow. Total full-time enrollment has risen to 774. This number includes traditional undergraduate students, degree-completion students and graduate students and has grown by 55 students in the last three years. Bluffton’s first-year class includes 242 students which is the largest first-year class since the 2011 class of 250 and the class GPA is also higher. 

Board members learned more about how Bluffton handles academic program reviews and reaccreditation. Dr. Lamar Nisly, vice president and dean of academic affairs provided an overview of the many ways the university reviews and revises programs to keep them current and to respond to new demands. Bluffton received reaccreditation with no stipulations from the Higher Learning Commission in 2019, and the university is currently working on a 4-year update for HLC due in summer 2022.

1998 business administration graduate Azra Nakicevic is Bluffton’s newest board member. She is a tax partner at GBQ Partners in Columbus, Ohio, where she advises companies and their owners on all aspects of U.S. tax law. Nakicevic is a frequent speaker with a number of professional organizations and an author of numerous articles on tax legislative updates and tax planning. She was born in Bosnia and Herzegovina and moved to the United States in the mid-1990s during the war in Bosnia. Nakicevic now lives in Columbus with her husband and their two children.

A new scholarship was established in memory of Adele (Bertsche ’55) Reichert’s lifetime of service. Reichert taught for 40 years as an elementary school teacher in Anchor, Ill., and Goshen, Ind. She spent summers completing voluntary service and retired in 1999. After their marriage in 1959, Adele and her husband, La Mar, served for two years in Germany with Mennonite Central Committee. She was an active member of Silverwood Mennonite Church, Mennonite Women, Goshen Historical Society and Indiana Teacher’s Association. The scholarship will support future educators and students in Bluffton’s Discovery Program.