William Ayers, the co-founder of the violent 1960s-era Weather Underground and who later befriended Barack Obama at the University of Chicago, has been named a "visiting scholar" at Minnesota State University, continuing his transformation from radical activist to establishment leader.
Once the head of a group linked to bombings of buildings tied to the Vietnam war, including the Pentagon and Capitol, he has been invited to play a role in the school's efforts to include social justice in class courses.
During the 2008 presidential campaign, the Ayers-Obama tie was a speed bump to the former community activists' rise to the presidency, a controversy shadowed by the bigger concerns about the former Illinois senator's relationship with fiery preacher Jeremiah Wright. Both relationships fueled concerns that Obama is a closet radical.
During the campaign, the Obama team cut ties to both.
The school is making him the "2013 College of Education and Human Services visiting scholar."