It's not over, though. The questions that Salaita's unhiring raised remain unanswered, and it remains unexplained, "the nature of the line that Salaita crossed and the point at which he crossed it so that faculty have some clearer measure than "civility" to know when their passion, rage, ill-considered utterances, profanity, and political expressions become actionable."
One could continue to complain about this endlessly deferred conversation, except that the university has quietly and resolutely sought to end it altogether by eliminating the protections of academic freedom at the bargaining table.
The appointment letters that tenure-stream faculty read include boilerplate language affirming AAUP principles and promising that the university will adhere to them. The appointment letters that most non-tenure stream faculty offer no such assurances, only a line in the accompanying "Notification of appointment that "This appointment is made subject to all applicable laws and to the University of Illinois Statutes, the General Rules Concerning University Organization and Procedure and other actions of the Board of Trustees. These policies are subject to change from time to time and the most updated version of the policies is applicable."
The future of academic freedom here lies not in in the fortunes of high-profile cases like Salaita's, but in the basic protections afforded to the faculty doing 40% of the university's teaching. As tenure lines dwindle, the contract available to non-tenure-stream faculty becomes, quite literally, the bottom line.