Chris Vallejos, associate vice president of Institutional Support Services, has announced Dr. R. Gary Smith as interim director of the Physical Plant Department (PPD) effective Monday, Jan. 25, 2016. 

With over 35 years of facilities management experience in higher education, Smith will oversee the operations of over 400 employees spread across five divisions. 

Smith has been a valued employee at UNM for over 20 years and has successfully led the two largest divisions within PPD including Environmental Services and Facilities Maintenance. He is also the co-chair of the committee leading all initiatives pertaining to the maintenance, preservation, and care of the historic D.H. Lawrence Ranch in San Cristobal, N.M.

In 2014, UNM was awarded the APPA Award for Excellence for facilities management, Smith being instrumental in achieving this mighty feat. He is a graduate of APPA’s Institute for the Facilities Management and Leadership Academy.

“I look forward to successfully leading this organization into the future, and continuing to foster PPD’s ‘Excellence in Facilities Management’ philosophy,” Smith said.

Jeff Zumwalt, PPD’s previous director, resigned as of Jan. 22, 2016, to accept a position at Texas A&M working in Utilities & Energy Services.