The Office of the Vice Provost for Teaching and Learning (OVPTL) oversees the Division of Undergraduate Education (DUE), the Division of Teaching Excellence and Innovation (DTEI), as well as Summer Session. The DUE recently added a new member to the team, Matthew Princetta, as its new Development Director. We sat down with him to learn more about his new position and why he is so passionate about it.

Matthew has been with UCI for two years as the Associate Director of Special Gifts for UCI University Advancement, where he found success in seeking out major sources of funds for the university. “]He’s excited about the opportunity to directly affect the lives of undergraduate students, especially first-generation college students, who use DUE’s services and programs. He hopes to increase funding to the programs that enable them to find success in all their endeavors.

Matthew is most excited about joining the OVPTL and DUE because with it comes the prospect of helping students reach their goals in the same way he was helped during his time as an undergraduate at the University of California, Santa Barbara. He takes a special interest in programs like the Undergraduate Opportunities Research Program (UROP), the Campuswide Honors Program (CHP), and the ANTrepreneur Center because of their impact on student success.

Matthew stressed how important it is to him to maintain UCI’s reputation for producing first-generation anteaters. He particularly loves the LARC scholarships, book loan programs, and the UCI Writing Center. Many first-generation students don’t have parents who know how to navigate the abundance of resources to succeed in college. By helping these students succeed, Matthew believes we can “keep raising the bar.”

The new Development Director also elaborated on why he thinks programs like UROP, CHP, and the ANTrepreneur Center are so important; they all provide significant opportunity for student growth and autonomy. The ANTrepreneur Center teaches students the building blocks for taking an idea and building a company, Matthew explained. “It’s exciting to empower students; you don’t know what they’ll be doing when they leave,” he said.

When asked how the DUE faculty and staff can help him succeed in his new position, Matthew said employees should “be open to new ideas and new people, because UCI needs outside funding to grow in new ways.” As long as UCI faculty continue to stay excited about fundraising and are willing to listen to his ideas, that’s all he needs to succeed.

What’s his philosophy when it comes to fundraising? Matthew had this to offer: “By the time someone sits down with you, they’ve made the decision to entertain the notion of donating.” He stressed that it’s not about trying to pressure anyone to donate. For him, it’s more about guiding donors to the right avenue for donation by getting to know them. People want to support the things they care about, so fundraisers should listen and try to figure out what that is. Matthew stressed the importance of building lasting relationships with donors.

To conclude, Matthew gave some tips on what to do when speaking to someone from outside campus who wants to make a donation to UCI. Because donors aren’t sure where to start the process, the best place to direct them to is give.uci.edu or call Mathew at (949) 824-2974.

Matthew is excited for his new job because he gets to help students succeed: “Education has the ability to change this world for the better,” he said.

To learn more about how you can support the DUE and programmatic resources for UCI undergraduates, contact Matthew at mprincet@uci.edu.

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