News Local/State

Nacco Named DACC’s Next President


Danville Area Community College has hired Stephen Nacco as the school’s 7th president in history, and will take over for the retiring Alice Marie Jacobs in mid-August.  The school’s Trustees announced his hiring Wednesday morning.  Nacco called DACC 'an amazing asset for the community,' citing the school's 40-percent graduation rate.

"When you think about the number one community college in the country, arguably Valencia College in Florida, that's 50-percent," he said. "So DACC isn't far off from being at the top of terms of student success."

Nacco comes from Union County College in Cranford, New Jersey, where he’s Vice President of Administrative Services and Executive Assistant to the president.

Combined with his time at Brookdale Community College in Lincroft, New Jersey, Nacco has spent 15 years working in community college leadership.

The new president will start August 15, overlapping his time for two weeks with Jacobs' final days on the job.  Nacco says he wasn't concerned about Illinois' 1-year budget impasse, saying he's no stranger to problems with state funding and higher education.

"Where we are now, though, we can't rely on that," he said. "We have to find creative new ways to bring in revenue. The old model is defunct, and it's never going to be the way it was. We need to continue to be affordable, and make sure tuition doesn't increase to the point where students can't pay for it, but also keep in mind that the taxpayer and state government aren't going to bear as much of the burden as they used to."

Nacco says his goals will include starting DACC's re-accreditation process, which must be completed in 2019. 

"There are things that are standards that never mattered before," he said. "One is jobs - and gainful employment.  Another thing that's now a standard is student debt.  We have students who are defaulting on loans.  What's your default rate?  That really never mattered before - now it's critically important."

Before his career in community college administration, Nacco worked in customer relations for MTA New York City Transit, and he began his career as an English instructor at St. John's University.

He holds a doctorate in educational leadership from Rowan University in New Jersey, a Ph. D. in English and American literature from Fordham University, a master's degree in those same areas from St. John's University, and a bachelor's degree from State University of New York at Pittsburgh.