Allan H. Dobrin
Executive Vice Chancellor and Chief Operating Officer
Allan H. Dobrin, the executive vice chancellor and chief operating officer of The City University of New York, is in charge of institutional business operations and leads university-wide planning and policy-making in areas under his supervision.
Since joining CUNY in September 2001, Dobrin has implemented several key initiatives that have enhanced the reputation and efficiency of the institution. In response to a challenge from Mayor Mike Bloomberg to the city’s private and public universities, in 2007 he created the CUNY Task Force on Sustainability, whose goal is to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions 30 percent by 2017. With Dobrin’s guidance, CUNY’s 23 institutions are creating 10-year sustainability plans and will work to incorporate sustainability policies into the fabric of the university.
Also in 2007, Dobrin set up CUNY FIRST, one of the larger projects undertaken by the University. CUNY FIRST, a five-year $250-million project whose acronym stands for Fully Integrated Resources and Services Tool, implements a university-wide suite of policies, processes and technologically advanced information systems that allow the university to streamline its processes and use its resources more efficiently to meet the needs of students, faculty and staff.
As chair of the University’s Information Technology Steering Committee, Dobrin was instrumental in selecting the software for CUNY Alert, perhaps the country’s most comprehensive collegiate emergency notification system. The system, which went into effect in 2008, provides messages ranging from specific instructions to general warnings, depending on the severity of the event.
He also created the CUNY Productivity Initiative, an innovative plan whose goals were to generate more work at lower cost and to bring in more revenue. In the first year of operation, 2003, CUNY exceeded its target by saving more than $10 million. In 2004, the plan resulted in more than $10 million in savings and in 2005, $6 million. It was so successful that other university systems, including the University of Maryland, used it as a model for their own programs.
A graduate of Queens College with doctoral studies in political science, Dobrin has been involved in public service for more than two decades. Before he joined CUNY, he was commissioner of the New York City Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications, which he set up, and chief information officer for the City of New York from 1998 to 2001. At the same time, he was executive director of the Mayor’s Task Force on Special Education, which in 1998 released recommendations on the reforming of the Board of Education’s $2.5-billion special education program.
Before joining the New York City Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications in 1998, Dobrin was executive deputy director of the Mayor’s Office of Operations, where he managed the city’s $30-million Technology Fund and its Customer Service Initiative. The New York City Technology Fund has provided funding for and oversight of nearly 60 technology-based special projects in 35 agencies.
From 1983 to 1988, he was deputy chief administrator of the Board of Education’s Special Education Division. From 1988 to 1994, he was deputy director for Citywide Services and deputy director for Project Management and Productivity at the Mayor’s Office of Operations. While serving at the Office of Operations, Dobrin led the Office of Information Technology Management, which coordinated the city’s information technology plans. In addition, he designed the City Technology Fund. While he was deputy director for Project Management and Productivity, he established the New York City Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications and was instrumental in the acquisition and installation of the City Access kiosks in the five boroughs.
Dobrin was chief of staff to the Deputy Mayor for Education and Human Services from 1994 to 1996, where he directed policy, managed agency performance and implemented mayoral initiatives in nine education and social service agencies that, combined, had more than 160,000 employees and budgets of more than $17 billion.
From 1996 to 1997, Dobrin was the deputy executive director of Bellevue Hospital Center, one of the larger and older city hospitals in the country, and oversaw its Management and Support Services, including Management Information Systems. In this position, he supervised a staff of more than 1,000.
Dobrin also has been an adjunct professor at the Graduate Department of Public Administration at Baruch College. A resident of Queens, he is married to Lynda Dobrin, an assistant principal in New York City’s Department of Education. They have two sons, Alex and Michael.