Vice-chairman Richard Uchida and another trustee met briefly with O'Neill and another student protester that day, but in a letter to the Central Maine Morning Sentinel Uchida contradicted the students' account that he had agreed to bring up with fellow trustees the idea of a campus-wide forum to discuss the Diamond issue.

Woodward's speech — relaxed, frank, humorous — featured anecdotes from his long career in Washington, which has included authoring 17 books, the latest The Price of Politics, an inside story of the struggle between President Obama and congressional Republicans over the country's fiscal predicament.

"Secret government," Woodward said, is what the public should worry about. When he gets up in the morning, his first thought is: "What are the bastards hiding?"


In the Diamond Building in the afternoon, as protesters passed out fliers and waved signs outside, the eminent journalists in a panel discussion on the future of investigative reporting were not as eager as Woodward to promote transparency at Colby.

In a question-and-answer session, the panel was asked if there wasn't a contradiction in Colby honoring investigative reporting while suppressing coverage of the trustees' support for Diamond. Moderator Stephen Engelberg, managing editor of ProPublica, a nonprofit online investigative-reporting organization, replied that he knew little about the issue.

But Lew Kingsbury, an Occupy Augusta organizer and Colby alumnus, accused Engelberg of being "disingenuous" about his knowledge of the matter because the two of them had talked on the phone about it. Kingsbury also had sent Engelberg relevant newspaper stories.

Kingsbury said the panel had relinquished an opportunity to talk about the issue at a time when some Colby professors feel too "intimidated" to express their opinions on it.

Engelberg replied that he had "no personal knowledge" of the Diamond affair and couldn't take Kingsbury's word for it. Other panelists expressed lack of knowledge of Colby's handling of the issue.

Outside the Diamond Building Colby's attempts to restrict discussion had continued. A security guard was at first reluctant to let this reporter into the building because he had seen him talking to protesters. The guard said he had orders to keep all protesters, including students, out of the panel's audience, even if they put away their signs and promised not to be disruptive.

The Phoenix asked the host of the panel discussion, director Daniel Shea of the college's Goldfarb Center for Public Affairs and Civic Engagement, if he wanted to keep the protesters out even if they didn't bring in their signs. He soon instructed the guard to let the protesters in.

After the discussion, the deputy Washington bureau chief of the New York Times, Rebecca Corbett, a Colby trustee who had introduced Engelberg, was asked in an interview if she had a conflict of interest in being on a board supporting Diamond while her news organization reports on him.

She replied that if she encountered a conflict of interest she would excuse herself from dealing with the subject. In any case, she said, the Times "business staff" deals with the Diamond issue, not the Washington bureau.

Corbett said she had missed the October meeting in Waterville as well as the August meeting in Boston when trustees decided to support Diamond. She said she would "decline" to reveal whether she personally supported Diamond continuing as chairman.

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