The Physical Plant Department at the University of New Mexico has changed its name to Facilities Management because the management of the department believes that the term Physical Plant does not describe them and their services accurately.
The name change initiative is in line with UNM’s overall marketing initiative of rebranding itself and expanding its outreach, including a recent upgrade to its logo.
“The University’s new branding initiative first prompted the department to consider making a name change. The fact that the PPD name failed at describing the many services we provide ultimately led to the name change initiative,” said Al Sena, the director of Facilities Management.
He said the department has been considering the name change for some time as it saw the peer departments with similar services in other institutions discard the term Physical Plant.
“The name change idea originated in 2016 from within the department’s leadership and staff. We found many higher education institutions across the country have been moving away from the identity of the Physical Plant,” Sena said.
Since the department aims at building its reputation in the facilities sector, the new name will capture the scope of its operations.
Describing the evolution of his department’s name and explaining why the previous name was a misnomer, Sena said, “the name Physical Plant has been in existence at UNM since 1892. Since then, our services have grown more diverse and sophisticated. The name no longer depicts the level of activity the department engages in on behalf of the University.”
Sena said the services the department provides include engineering and energy services, space management, grounds and landscaping maintenance, signage, special events services, building maintenance and more.
“Initially, much of the cost is being absorbed in the department’s effort to integrate the new UNM logo into items by attrition,” Sena said when addressing the costs associated with a name change. “The UNM branding change costs were deliberately deferred for a full year until our name change could be approved. To keep costs low, we plan to utilize existing collateral materials and change them only as needed. The estimated total cost for all associated items, including signage and vehicle/equipment labeling should be just under $16,000.”
Sena said the department anticipates the name to be in full use within the next two years, and has an aggressive marketing plan to help educate the community about the new name.
Ahmad Yar Ranjha is a freelance news reporter at the Daily Lobo. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.