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2024 - Elgin Community College Announces Departure of President David Sam

Tags: Announcement
Published 05/22/2024
ECC President, David Sam, PhD, JD, LLM

ECC President, David Sam, PhD, JD, LLM

The Elgin Community College (ECC) Board of Trustees announced the departure of President David Sam, PhD, JD, LLM. After 17 years of distinguished service, Sam has announced he will retire from his role as ECC’s eighth president, effective July 31, 2024.

The ECC Board of Trustees expresses its deepest gratitude to President Sam for his unwavering commitment to excellence in leading ECC. He has served the college with dedication and will be deeply missed by the entire college community.

“On behalf of the ECC Board of Trustees, we extend our sincere thanks to Dr. Sam for his tireless efforts on behalf of the students, staff, administrators, faculty, businesses, and residents of Community College District 509,” said ECC Board of Trustees Chair Donna Redmer, EdD. “We wish him all the best as he embarks on the next chapter of his life.”

Dr. Sam's tenure has been marked by numerous accomplishments that have positioned ECC for continued success.

His leadership steered ECC through challenging times, including the Great Recession. During this period, a remarkable achievement was the successful passage of a $178 million capital referendum in April 2009. This strong community support from District 509 resulted in significant improvements to the college's infrastructure, including:

  1. A new health and life sciences building for in-demand health care programs.
  2. A new library meeting accreditation standards.
  3. The Center for Emergency Management campus in Burlington.
  4. A multi-purpose building for workforce development and adult basic education programs.
  5. Much-needed renovations of all existing buildings on the Spartan Drive Campus.

ECC's commitment to the future is further evidenced by the planned Manufacturing and Technology Center, breaking ground this fall.

Moreover, under Sam’s leadership, more than 40,654 students have received their degree or certificate since 2007. That is 57% percent of the 71,489 degrees and certificates conferred in ECC’s 75-year history. Sam was also instrumental in the concerted effort to reduce student loan debt by 80% between 2011 and 2023. He departs with a thriving enrollment and a continued focus on student success.

The ECC Board of Trustees is committed to ensuring a smooth transition and a collaborative search process. Effective July 1, Dr. Peggy Heinrich, Vice President of Teaching, Learning, and Student Development, will assume the role of interim college president.

At their June 11 meeting, the board will vote to hire an experienced search firm to conduct a nationwide search for a new president.


Community members can submit questions and concerns by filling out a form on the Board of Trustees’ web page ( Responses in the form of FAQs will be created on an ongoing basis.