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Washington State 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 supersede other university grievances, complaint or appeal procedures.

We us the terms “ombuds,” “ombudsperson,” and “ombudsman” interchangeably.  In accordance with the International Ombudsman’s Association, we use all of these terms to communicate to the widest possible community.


Max KirkMax Kirk, Ombudsman

Max Kirk has been a WSU faculty member since 2001. He is an Associate Professor in the School of Design and Construction. He has worked with all levels of faculty, staff and students in various service Committees on campus, most notably as chair of the Faculty Senate. Max earned his PhD from the University of Nebraska – Lincoln. He began working as the WSU Ombudsman in July 2015. Max received formal training from the International Ombudsman Association in July 2015.

Debbie LeeDebbie Lee, Ombudsman

Debbie Lee has been at Washington State University since 1998. She received her M.F.A. from the Bennington Writing Seminars and her Ph.D. from the University of Arizona. A Regents Professor in the Department of English, Debbie has served on a number of University committees and has training in higher education leadership. She began working as a WSU Ombudsman in 2016 and completed formal training from the International Ombudsman Association in October 2016 and Mental Health First Aid in 2017. She is also a certified mediator from the Chicago Center for Conflict Resolution.

Sheri GlaesmanSheri Glaesman, Ombudsman

Sheri Glaesman has been employed at WSU for the past 16 years, most recently as program specialist in the Office of Public Records. She earned her bachelor’s degree in criminal justice at WSU and is currently pursuing a master’s degree in the same field. Glaesman completed a 40-hour mediation course at the Fulcrum Institute, and has worked with students, faculty and staff on a variety of projects throughout her career. Sheri received formal training from the International Ombudsman Association in October 2018.

Janet HerrlingerJanet 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.


Wilson-Short Hall, Room 2
PO Box 644002
Pullman, WA 99164-4002
Phone: 509-335-1195
FAX: 509-335-3922

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.