An effective, informal, and neutral channel for students, staff, and faculty to voice Washington State 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 and locations of WSU operations and programs. The Ombuds is a neutral and confidential resource to all members of the university community. The Ombuds Office provides information about WSU policies and procedures. We also facilitate the resolution of problems and grievances through informal investigation and mediation. The office does not supersede other university grievance, complaint, or appeal procedures.

We use the term “ombuds,” to refer to one or more ombuds in accordance with International Ombuds Association practices.


Justin DenneyJustin Denney, Ombuds

Justin Denney has been a faculty member at Washington State University since 2017. Prior to WSU, he was a faculty member at Rice University in Houston. He received his PhD in Sociology with a Certificate in Demography from the University of Colorado, Boulder and is the William Julius Wilson Distinguished Professor in the College of Arts and Sciences. He began working as a Faculty Ombuds in 2022 and has completed formal training from the International Ombuds Association, Mental Health First Aid, and the Chicago Center for Conflict Resolution.

Karen SanguinetKaren Sanguinet, Ombuds

Karen Sanguinet is an Associate Professor in the Department of Crop and Soil Sciences Department and joined WSU in 2014. She received a PhD in Plant Biology at the University of California–Berkeley and BS degrees from the University of Wisconsin–Madison in Genetics and Horticulture. She was a postdoctoral researcher at the USDA Plant Gene Expression Center and a Marie Curie Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Lausanne in Switzerland. Before coming to WSU, she was a Senior Research Fellow at the University of Massachusetts—Amherst and an Assistant Professor at Iwate University in Japan. She began working as a Faculty Ombuds in August 2022 and is pursuing formal training from the International Ombuds Association as well as Mental Health First Aid.

Janet HerrlingerJanet Herrlinger, Principal Assistant to the Ombuds

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 Ombuds Office in 2011. Janet received formal training from the International Ombuds Association in October 2011.


French 134
PO Box 641015
Pullman, WA 99164-1015
Phone: 509-335-1195
FAX: 509-335-3922
Email: ombuds@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.