Professors at UNC-Chapel Hill and Duke are among more than 3,000 academics who’ve signed an online petition in support of William Ayers, Eric Ferreri at The N&O reports.

The former Weather Underground member that Sarah Palin has been calling a “domestic terrorist” has been a professor of education at the University of Illinois at Chicago for the past 20 years. “The current characterizations of Professor Ayers—‘unrepentant terrorist,’ ‘lunatic leftist’—are unrecognizable to those who know or work with him,” the online statement says.