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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.


kirk-m-2013-100Max 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.

Tena OldTena 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.

Tena OldJanet 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.