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Washington State University Ombuds


When Should I Contact The Ombudsman?

  • When you have a university-related problem and need assistance.
  • When you need clarification about a WSU policy or procedure.
  • If you feel you have been unfairly treated and need to know your options.
  • If you have a specific problem which may not be resolved by regular university procedures.


How Can the Ombudsman Help?

  • By listening and providing a neutral resource.
  • By explaining and abiding by the policies and procedures.
  • By providing initial counseling in clarifying issues and providing referral when appropriate.
  • By analyzing the issue and providing options in resolving complaints.
  • By preventing an issue from escalating into a major problem when possible.
  • By recommending change in policy when appropriate.
  • By assisting the university in the development, implementation, and application of policies and procedures.


Types of Complaints

  • Academic (grading disputes, exam scheduling, course-related issues, etc.)
  • Non-academic (university housing, resident life issues, financial aid, etc.)
  • Employment (hiring, dismissal, evaluations, benefits, etc.)
  • Administration (delay in service/decisions, access to facilities, clarification of rights and policies, etc.)


When Does an Ombudsman NOT Get Involved?

  • The ombudsman does not act as an advocate or represent an individual in adjudicatory disputes, including those related to sexual harassment, discrimination, Americans with Disabilities Act, OSHA regulations, or collective bargaining agreements.
  • If a complaint or concern is non-university related.
  • The ombudsman will not waive rules, laws, or regulations, or require an appointing authority to change a decision, modify a policy, or modify a negotiated contract provision.