Over the past several weeks, much attention has been focused on news from the financial industry concerning the role a number of banks have played in determining a key interest rate that governs many transactions around the world. No small amount of that attention has fallen on Barclays Bank and its former CEO, Colby College Board of Trustees Chair Bob Diamond '73.
In light of this complex story, which is still unfolding, the Colby Board of Trustees met in executive session to discuss the matter earlier this month. Mr. Diamond urged that the meeting take place, as a matter of good governance and in fulfillment of the board's responsibility to protect the best interests of the College.
Mr. Diamond reviewed the circumstances surrounding the situation–including, among other things, official reports reflecting that an intensive, multiyear investigation of Barclays by several regulatory agencies resulted in no findings of impropriety against Mr. Diamond personally. He answered questions and then recused himself from the balance of the meeting.
A two-plus hour discussion ensued, during which more than 30 trustees voiced thoughts and opinions. At the conclusion of the discussion, the board strongly affirmed its support of Mr. Diamond as chair. Its review was informed by several fundamental values of the College and of the liberal arts tradition, including the paramount importance of seeking truth, an overarching obligation to fairness, and the absolute necessity of deep, critical, and patient consideration of complex issues.
While these developments in the world of finance are being played out against the backdrop of a 24-hour news cycle, the board chose to base its decision on Colby’s fundamental values, and to remain committed to the mindful and principled application of those values in this and every decision.
Sally Baker, Secretary of the Corporation
On behalf of the Colby College Board of Trustees