I have worked in facilities management for higher education my entire life. In fact, my father was the Director of Physical Plant at Texas Christian University for 17 years and I grew up in a house where the trials and tribulations of a university chief facilities officer were discussed nightly.
I was born in 1954, and for those who remember their history, the “baby boomers” as we were nick-named constituted a very large student population. Indeed, as we progressed from kindergarten to college, we were often housed in temporary buildings in the parking lot all the way through school. Right behind us, however, there was a very large decrease in this demographic, and many of the colleges converted older dormitories to offices. Interestingly, the staff grew while the population was declining, a trend that never really reversed.
In any event, I am always up for a tour of a college campus, and I am blessed recently to have had a chance to work for the NM Higher Education Department (HED) and the University of Dayton Facilities Management and Planning. The saying is true: “Do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life.”
The HED job calls for me to interview facilities staff at every school in NM, specifically by visiting as many colleges as I can in person. I started in the south and was able to get to Western University and New Mexico State University.
On the way to Western NM University, I stopped in at a roadside park I always wanted to see up close and in person.
Dave Riker and I were also able to do a small job for Facilities Management and Planning at the University of Dayton. I flew to Ohio while we were staying in Las Cruces.
Then we moved to Albuquerque, and I was able to meet with staff at the University of New Mexico (UNM), UNM Hospitals, New Mexico Highlands, Santa Fe Community College, Central New Mexico, and UNM-Valencia.
Ironically, the weekend after I flew back to the border-plex from Dayton was the weekend of the shootings in El Paso and in Ohio. I had been in both places the week before.