Washington State University

Office of the University Ombudsman

An effective, informal, and neutral channel for students, staff, and faculty to voice university-related concerns.


The primary purpose of the office is to protect the interests, rights, and privileges of students, staff, and faculty at all levels of university operations and programs.  The ombudsman is designated by the university to function as an impartial and neutral resource to assist all members of the university community.  The ombudsman provides information relating to university policies and procedures and facilitates the resolution of problems and grievances through informal investigation and mediation.  The office does not replace or supercede other university grievances, complaint or appeal procedures.


Wilson-Short Hall, Room 2
PO Box 644002
Pullman, WA 99164-4002
Phone: 509-335-1195
FAX: 509-335-3922
Email: ombudsman@wsu.edu

Office Hours:

Monday - Friday

8:00 a.m. -12:00 p.m.
1:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
(or by appointment, call 335-1195)

Summer Hours: 8:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.


Cathryn L. Claussen, Ombudsman

Cathryn Claussen has been a WSU faculty member since 2000. She is a Full Professor in the Department of Educational Leadership & Counseling Psychology, and has directed the Sport Management Program for many years. She has worked with colleagues in various departments and colleges at WSU, including several years of service on the Faculty Senate, and has chaired the Faculty Affairs Committee. Cathryn earned her Juris Doctorate at Georgetown University Law Center. She began working as WSU Ombudsman in August 2011.  Cathy received formal training from the International Ombudsman Association in October 2011.

Tena Old, Ombudsman

Tena Old has been employed by Washington State University since 1988, holding a variety of both classified and administrative/professional positions, working closely with faculty and staff.  She has experience in conflict resolution both at WSU and outside of the University. Tena received formal training from the International Ombudsman Association and began working as WSU Ombudsman April 1, 2011.

Janet Herrlinger, Principal Assistant to the Ombudsman

Janet Herrlinger has been employed by WSU since 2005. Prior to coming to WSU she spent 15 years in Washington, DC, where she worked for government, research, and international organizations. She joined the Ombudsman Office in 2011. Janet received formal training from the International Ombudsman Association in October 2011.

Washington State University Office of the Ombudsman, PO Box 644002, Washington State University, Pullman WA 99164-4002, 509-335-1195, Contact Us