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President's Office

Welcome from the President

Dr. David Sam

The learning advantage you want and need is at ECC. We are the community resource you have counted on to improve lives through learning since 1949.

As the world becomes more interdependent and culturally diverse, a solid education holds the best promise for success. Whether you are preparing for a new career, upgrading and enhancing your skills, or gaining credits toward a four-year degree, ECC is primed to meet your needs and exceed your expectations.

With competent and caring faculty and nationally accredited educational programs, you can achieve your goals and experience the learning advantage your community college education provides you in a competitive job market.

I encourage you to visit our site often and visit our campus soon. Share the ECC experience with us, and let us assist you in preparing for your future.

Best regards,

David Sam, PhD, JD, LLM


Dr. Sam began serving as the eighth President of Elgin Community College on February 12, 2007. His prior six-and-a-half-year appointment was as President of North Harris College in Texas. Previously, he was Dean of the Community & Technical College and a Social Science and Business Management Professor at the University of Akron, Ohio. Earlier, he served as Vice President for Faculty and Instruction at Harrisburg Area Community College in Pennsylvania, as acting Vice President of Academic Affairs and Dean of Natural and Social Sciences both at Mott Community College in Michigan and as Assistant Professor/Coordinator of International Studies at College of DuPage in Illinois.

Academic excellence, student success and completion, reduction of student loan debt, community outreach, partnerships, workforce development, equity, diversity and inclusion, and financial prudence are his presidency's hallmarks. Collaborating with a visionary and engaged Board of Trustees, outstanding and dedicated faculty, and a competent and committed team of administrators and staff, he has provided leadership for the extraordinary results the College has achieved. The College has awarded more than 68,167 degrees and certificates since its founding in 1949; approximately 55.9% have been awarded during his tenure.

Under his leadership, ECC was named one of 25 (out of 1,047 community colleges nationwide) semifinalists for the 2023 Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence; ECC was also named an Aspen Top 150 College in 2015, 2019, and 2021. Also, ECC joined the student success initiative, Achieving the Dream, in 2009, earning and maintaining a Leader College status from 2012 to 2022, when it received the designation of Leader College of Distinction. Additionally 2009, Dr. Sam led the College’s efforts to pass a $178 million capital referendum, transforming the campus into a modern, state-of-the-art learning environment. Finally, ECC’s financial stability and sound fiscal management have earned the College an Aaa rating from Moody’s Investor Services since 2009 and an AA+ rating from Standard & Poor’s since 2010.

A native of Ghana, West Africa, Dr. Sam has impressive academic credentials. He is a cum laude graduate of Illinois State University with Bachelor's degrees in economics, political science, and history. He holds a Master of Arts in law and diplomacy and a PhD in international economic and political relations from Tufts University at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy. Additionally, he holds an MBA in finance and marketing from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, a Juris Doctorate from the University of Akron Law School, and a Master of Laws (LLM) in energy law and policy at the University of Dundee, United Kingdom.

Dr. Sam serves on the board of directors for the: St. Charles Bank & Trust (A Wintrust Community Bank); Elgin Area Chamber of Commerce (chair from May 2015 to January 2017); Alignment Collaborative for Education; and the Golden Corridor Family YMCA. He is an active member of the Rotary Club of Elgin; the 2021/22 Secretary/Treasurer, 2022/23 Vice Chair, and 2023-24 Chair of the Illinois Council of Community College Presidents; and the Illinois Phi Theta Kappa Presidential Ambassador. A licensed attorney, he is a member of the District of Columbia Bar, the Energy Bar Association, and the American Bar Association.

  • Membership in the Illinois State University College of Arts & Sciences Hall of Fame
  • Phi Theta Kappa’s Shirley B. Gordon Award of Distinction for Outstanding College Presidents
  • Judson University’s D. Ray Wilson Volunteer Service Award
  • Illinois Community College Trustees Association’s Gary W. Davis Ethical Leadership Award
  • Elgin Cosmopolitan Club’s Distinguished Services Award
  • Rotary International Club’s Paul Harris Fellow
  • Illinois Consortium for International Studies & Programs Member Emeritus Award

President's Cabinet

  1. Academic Divisions Vice President of Teaching, Learning & Student Development, Peggy Heinrich
  2. Vice President of Business & Finance, Kimberly Wagner
  3. Vice President of Planning, Institutional Effectiveness & Technology, Philip Garber
  4. Chief Human Resources Officer, Anthony Ray
  5. Chief Marketing, Communications, and Government Relations Officer, Paula Amenta
  6. Executive Director of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion, Vacant
  7. Executive Director of Institutional Advancement & ECC Foundation, Susan Taylor-Demming
  8. Chief of Police, David Kintz
  9. General Counsel, Respicio Vazquez
  10. Senior Executive Assistant to the President, Diane Kerruish