The Ombuds service ensures that members of the administrative staff (“staff”) have a neutral, independent, confidential and informal resource who provides assistance in identifying options for addressing and/or resolving workplace employment-related issues and conflicts. The service is intended to help employees exercise their problem solving capabilities in order to arrive at and implement workable solutions on their own. The Ombuds position is defined in the employee handbook and attached here for reference.
Employee Handbook Ombudsperson Policy: https://internet2.trincoll.edu/docs/emplHandbook/HrHandbookse27.html#x32-310000
Confidential Employee – Confidential Employees are required to report Title IX covered incidents that are disclosed or reported to them
Visitor – Staff employee who engages the services of the Ombudsperson
Reporter – Individual disclosing an incident or behavior that is covered by Title IX
Title IX Policy – Policy based upon the U.S. law that promotes gender equity in
Title IX Coordinator – Trinity designated employee or individual who handles matters covered by the Title IX law and Trinity Policy.
Scope of Ombuds Practice:
The Ombudsperson role while working with a staff member (“Visitor”) is to:
•Explain the role and scope of the Ombudsperson position
•Assist in identifying responses and/or resources for a given situation
•Assist a Visitor in developing new ways to approach a problem
•Help a Visitor analyze their situation and identify and evaluate options for resolution
•Facilitate appropriate communications between a Visitor and another party, with Visitor permission
•Reference and explain College policies and procedures that apply to a situation
•Remain neutral, impartial, and unaligned with a Visitor or any party, office or institution
•Identify trends, without breaching confidentiality or anonymity, and recommend options and actions to institutional offices
•Maintain the confidentiality of a Visitor and any discussions, unless failure to reveal confidential information could result in imminent risk of serious harm to the Visitor or other individuals; the Visitor discloses or alleges sexual misconduct directed against an individual who is either under the age of 18 or who has an intellectual disability; or the Ombudsperson is legally compelled to do so via valid subpoena. A Visitor may waive confidentiality if he or she wishes at any point in the process.
•The Ombudsperson strives to consider all sides of a question impartially and objectively and seeks resolution through problem solving, consultation, and/or facilitated discussions.
The Ombudsperson will not:
• Participate in any formal investigation or adjudicative procedures, but may refer a Visitor to appropriate offices, resources, or people when a more formal resolution is desired or warranted
• Make binding decisions, mandate policies, or formally adjudicate matters for the College
• Advocate on behalf of the Visitor, the other party or individual affiliated with the College
• Handle grievances, whistleblower, discrimination, or harassment complaints
• Keep any identifying records
• Offer psychological or other counseling
• Address any disputes between Trinity College and non-Trinity College staff
• Serve as a substitute for making a formal report of any misconduct, including sexual misconduct.
• Give legal advice
The Ombudsperson is a Confidential Employee under Trinity’s Title IX policy. Confidential Employees are required to report an incident disclosed or reported to them but without the name of the Reporter – the person disclosing the incident – or the alleged offender, unless there is imminent danger to the Reporter or the campus. Before reporting an incident to the Title IX Coordinator or Campus Safety Director, Confidential Employees will first consult with the Reporter to ensure that the general report does not contain any personally identifying details. To make a formal report of sexual misconduct, staff should contact the Title IX Coordinator.