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College District Promotes IT Leader to Dual Role

The veteran leader in state government and at a Sacramento-area college district has been named vice chancellor and chief information officer.

An award-winning public-sector technology executive has been promoted to a dual leadership role in the Los Rios Community College District.

Manveer Bola had most recently served as director of Enterprise Services for the Sacramento area’s four-college district before his promotion to his current position: associate vice chancellor for IT and chief information officer. He told Industry Insider — California that he has a specific set of goals.

“I’ll continue our path towards modernization and lay the foundation for more transformative initiatives we have slated down the road,” Bola said. “With community college enrollment declining across the nation, one of my priorities will be to partner with each of our four colleges to increase equitable enrollment and access throughout our district. This includes utilizing customer relationship management (CRM) technologies and integrated data to increase outreach to prospective students and also help existing students stay on track and achieve their educational goals.”

He added: “Another focus of mine would be to address digital equity barriers facing our students by expanding access to resources such as computers, Internet connectivity and basic training/support to minimize or eliminate any digital equity barriers that our students may face. I’ll also be working to facilitate the return of students to on-campus instruction while also continuing to improve the delivery of online education.”

Bola started his career with the California State Board of Equalization (BOE) in 2005 as a project manager after graduating from California State University, Sacramento, with a Bachelor of Science in business administration and management information. Within five years, he had earned his Master of Business Administration in management information systems and been promoted to project director for Digital BOE. From there, he moved to the California Department of Technology, where he served first as chief of statewide technology strategic planning and policy and then as the state’s deputy chief technology innovation officer.

In the latter role, Bola was among the 2021 winners of a CIO Academy Award, given at the California Virtual Public Sector CIO Academy. He was credited for his key role during the first critical months of the COVID-19 pandemic, when he and his team worked quickly to stand up a variety of projects including numerous dashboards and pandemic-related websites and applications. During his tenure in CDT’s Office of Enterprise Technology, he also led several key strategies to support the state’s digital transformation.

Bola then took the role as Los Rios’ director of Enterprise Services before his promotion to the CIO/associate vice chancellor role.

His goals in the new position reflect trends in state IT governance, particularly in cybersecurity and cloud.

“Our team will continue to improve our district’s security posture while also modernizing our infrastructure,” he said, “by utilizing a hybrid cloud approach to increase performance, scalability and resilience.”

He said he’s pleased with his staff’s efforts since he joined the college district.

“I’m very proud of our team’s accomplishments over the past two years, which include completing a major overhaul of the district’s network across all colleges and outreach centers; successfully pivoting to remote learning and working throughout the pandemic; deploying ServiceNow as our enterprise IT service management platform; and significantly strengthening our district’s security posture and combating student application fraud, which has been a major issue facing community colleges in our state.”
Dennis Noone is Executive Editor of Industry Insider. He is a career journalist, having worked at small-town newspapers and major metropolitan dailies including USA Today in Washington, D.C.