Bill Ayers awarded ‘visiting scholar’ status at Minnesota State University
Administrators at Minnesota State University – Moorhead (MSUM) announced late last month that former Weather Underground co-founder and domestic terrorist Bill Ayers has been selected as the 2013 “visiting scholar” by the school’s College of Education and Human Services.
“Dr. William Ayers… will be the 2013 College of Education and Human services Visiting Scholar,” read the Feb. 25th campus-wide announcement.
Ayers accepted the prestigious award while delivering a campus-wide lecture entitled “Teaching from the Heart: Education for Enlightenment and Freedom.”
In a 2001 book, Ayers admitted to participating in a host of domestic terrorism operations, including bombing the New York City Police Department, United States Capitol Building, and Pentagon.
He later gained fame in the 2008 presidential election for his connection as a “family friend” to then Senator Barack Obama.
Professor Steve Grineski, who helped select Ayers for the award, however, told Campus Reform on Wednesday university administrators were not concerned with his radical past.
“I guess if they had been really concerned they would have canceled his presentation and not allowed us to do it,” said Grineski.
He said Ayers was chosen for the prestigious post because of his work infusing principles of social justice into the education system.
“He is somebody who has written a lot through his teaching in the area of social justice,” said Grineski. “[H]e was selected because of his expertise.”
Grineski said Ayers visited the Moorhead campus for three days, working with the campus community to advance ideas of social justice.
“We invited Bill to do the visiting scholar address and then while he was here to meet with faculty and students and to help us to think bigger and better about social justice,” he said.
“[H]e was here for about three days working with faculty, students as part of this kind of consulting for social justice,” Grineski continued.
He added that Ayers did receive a stipend for his appearance, but declined to release the dollar amount to Campus Reform.
“I’m not going to answer that question,” he said.
Previous visiting scholars at MSUM include Julie Landsman, Gregory Michie, and Mara Sapon-Shevin.
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