Joshua Woodfork, a Colby trustee and professor of American studies at American University, thinks it's appropriate to ask if the money Diamond gave is tainted. "People should have questions" like this, he says.
A glance at Colby's trustee roster reveals a typical elite private-college preponderance of alumni from the upper reaches of finance and industry. Whether colleges should rely so heavily on such leadership, especially from the scandal-ridden financial industry, is "a good question for higher ed in general," Woodfork says. "I wish there were more people from higher education on the board."
But even as Sandy Maisel, a Colby government professor, agrees "there's a risk" for a college depending so much on people like Diamond, he says "you can't raise the money if you don't."
Maisel thinks "very highly" of Diamond." He's a "tough-nosed businessman." Maisel says he hasn't heard him become the subject of negative comments within the Colby community since the scandal erupted.
Another Colby professor, Jennifer Yoder, who teaches government and international studies, wouldn't comment when asked how it felt to be the Robert E. Diamond Professor of Government and Global Studies at a time the funder of her chair is mired in scandal.
Other Colby-connected individuals had similar reactions. A former trustee, Colleen Khoury, of Portland, an alumna and former dean of the University of Maine law school, would only say she's "very fond of Bob." Colby's top two student newspaper editors refused to comment.
Woodfork, an alumnus, understands the Colby community's reluctance to say much about Diamond. "He's been really committed to the college, so they're giving him the benefit of the doubt," he says, adding: "It's a sad situation."
Alumnus Kingsbury connects the scandals at the top and bottom of Colby by accusing the college administration of not setting a good ethical example of forthrightness in dealing with them.
Another alumna, Jody Spear, of Brooksville, thinks Diamond himself should be forthright and resign as chairman of Colby's board: "He besmirches the institution to have his name associated with it."