William Ebenstein

University Dean for Health and Human Services

In 2007 Dr. William Ebenstein was appointed University Dean for Health and Human Services.  With responsibility for CUNY's degree programs that prepare individuals for health and human services professions, Dr. Ebenstein has especially focused on addressing the nursing shortage by increasing the capacity and improving the quality of CUNY nursing programs.  Working in collaboration with the healthcare industry and its unions, the Office of the University Dean supports career ladder programs for incumbent healthcare workers. Enhancing the use of technology in nurse education and strengthening the research skills of CUNY's doctoral nursing students and nurse faculty are also priority areas.

Dr. Ebenstein is an internationally known expert and advocate in the field of disability studies. He played a prominent role in establishing a new M.A. in Disability Studies at the School of Professional Studies. He has presented at national and international conferences and published on a range of topics in this emerging multidisciplinary field. In 2006 Dr. Ebenstein received the Mayor's Disability Advocacy Award, and in 2007 he received the Chancellor's Disability Scholarship Award. He served as Executive Officer of the Society for Disability Studies from 2007-2010.  In August 2011 Dr. Ebenstein was appointed to the New York State Medicaid Redesign Team.  He served as co-chair of its Workforce Flexibility/Change of Scope of Practice work group.  He is also faculty in the Doctoral Program in Nursing Science at The Graduate Center/CUNY.

Prior to becoming the University Dean, Dr. Ebenstein was appointed the founding Director of the John F. Kennedy, Jr. Institute for Worker Education at CUNY. The Institute was established in 2000 to carry on the work started by John F. Kennedy, Jr. with a mission to advocate for career ladders, health and educational benefits, and a living wage for frontline workers.  The JFK, Jr. Institute was incorporated into the Office of the Dean. 

During his more than twenty year tenure in CUNY's Central Office of Academic Affairs, Dr. Ebenstein has served as the Principal Investigator on major research, training and community service grants funded through federal, State and City agencies and private foundations.  Dr. Ebenstein first joined CUNY's Central Office of Academic Affairs in 1989 as the Director of Workforce Development. In this role he developed a university-labor-management model of workforce development. He worked with public and private employers, organized labor, community organizations and government agencies to implement collaborative programs that support the higher education and career advancement of frontline workers in health and human services occupations.

Dr. William Ebenstein received his B.A. in Psychology from Brandeis University and his M.A. and Ph.D. in Psychology and Literature from the University of Dallas.

Office of Health and Human Services