SALEM, Ore. The Oregon Senate confirmed a new trustee for the governing board of the Oregon Institute of Technology, “Oregon Tech,” on Dec. 13. Mike Starr is the vertical leader of actuation of Boeing Global Services and an Oregon Tech alumnus from Klamath Falls. Trustee Starr will begin his term on the board on December 17.

There are 11 at-large positions on the Board, three positions filled by faculty, staff and student members, and an ex officio position held by Oregon Tech’s president, for a total of 15 members. Starr is filling the seat left vacant by Celia Núñez, who selflessly served from the inception of the board until June 30, 2018.

Starr’s history with Oregon Tech began when he was in high school and was spotted by the university’s football coach. He was recruited as a deep snapper for the Owls, receiving an academic scholarship. While he had always had a talent for science and math, a career in engineering had not yet solidified for him. But after being intrigued by a mechanical engineering course, he was hooked. “My brain just kind of worked that way,” said Starr.

He thrived in the small class environment and the connections that he built with faculty along the way, with Oregon Tech being a “big” university to him, having gone to a Catholic school in Klamath Falls with 22 children in his class. Then, after an injury on the football field in his freshman year ended his sports career, he focused exclusively on his studies, graduating Summa Cum Laude in 1989 with a degree in Mechanical Engineering.

After graduation, Starr’s path led straight to a job with Boeing at its Renton plant in Washington when he received two offers from them after attending an Oregon Tech career day event. He began his career at Boeing in July 1989 and has held second-level management positions leading Engineering, Industrial Engineering, New Programs, Tracks and Beams, Flight Controls and Central Machining. He served as manufacturing director and general manager at the Boeing Portland site and was named in January 2018 as the Vertical Leader for Actuation. In this role, Starr pioneers business transformation through “Vertical Integration,” which is a strategy to apply and align Boeing’s internal capabilities, customer knowledge and employee skillsets to offer better products and value over the life of its products. Starr’s responsibility is to collaborate with organizations across the Enterprise and suppliers around the world to create increased value in the Actuation category for the Boeing Company.

Starr also has a master’s degree in Business Administration from the University of Phoenix and is a graduate of the Harvard Business School’s Advanced Management Program.

Jessica Gomez
Also confirmed at the meeting was Trustee Jessica Gomez of Medford. She was reappointed to serve a second term through June 30, 2022. Gomez is one of the original members of Oregon Tech’s Board, and is founder, president and chief executive officer of Rogue Valley Microdevices in Medford, Oregon.

For more information on Oregon Tech Board members, go to www.oit.edu/trustees.