5.06 Ombudsperson

Date of Initial Policy: January 1, 2009
Effective Date: September 16, 2019; January 1, 2010 (revised)

Policy Statement:

It is Trinity College’s policy to make available to staff and faculty, Ombuds services as a neutral, independent, informal, and confidential resource to assist employees in resolving workplace concerns, conflicts and problems. The Ombuds services shall be carried out in full adherence to the International Ombudsman Association (IOA) Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics. Trinity College shall support and uphold these Standards and the Code of Ethics.

This policy applies to all Trinity College staff employees. Faculty Ombuds services information is available at page 9, Section 5 – Faculty Ombudsman- of the Faculty Manual.

Reason for the Policy:

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.


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 education.
TitleIX Coordinator – Trinity designated employee or individual who handles matters covered by the Title IX law and Trinity Policy.

Statements of Elaboration of Policy:


The President shall appoint two full-time staff employees as Staff Ombudspeople, who shall report to the Chief of Staff and Associate Vice President for External Affairs. The dual functions of these individuals (i.e., ombudsperson role and full-time Trinity employee role) shall remain separate and distinct and neither role shall influence or compromise the other. The Ombudsperson shall adhere to the International Ombudsman Association (IOA) Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics and the College shall support the Ombudsperson’s adherence to the Standard and Code. Any staff member may contact an Ombudsperson for confidential assistance.

Appointed Ombudspersons for Staff

Trinity College has two ombudspersons for staff: Kristin Bierly Magendantz, Director of Faculty Grants and Sponsored Research and Carrie Robinson, Director of LGBTQ+ Life. The Ombudspersons’ confidential e-mail is: staffombudsperson@trincoll.edu; The Ombudspersons’ confidential telephone number is 860-297-4044.

Scope of Ombuds Practice

The Ombudsperson’s role in working with staff who visit the Ombudsperson for assistance (‘Visitors’) is to:

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:

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.

Professional Development

The Ombudsperson is required to complete professional development that focuses on the standards of practice and code of ethics for ombudspersons, prior to assuming the role, and to complete annual professional development thereafter as long as they are in the role. The Ombudsperson is also required to complete an initial onboarding process with the Human Resources team and on an annual basis thereafter, to review current Trinity College employee policies and procedures.

Cross References to Related Policies:

Non-Discrimination Policy
Title IX Policy

Responsible Officer:

Chief of Staff and Associate Vice President for External Affairs

Key Office to Contact Regarding the Policy and its Implementation:

Office of the Chief of Staff and Associate Vice President for External Affairs

See the following policies for additional relevant information:

3.03 Discrimination and Harassment 25

5.07 Grievance Procedure 116