Mark Graber (Law and Government, Maryland) has an interesting post up on the Salaita case and academic culture over at Balkinization. Here's the paragraph that jumped out at me, as I haven't seen this particular point made before:
Each year, more and more pressure seems to be put on faculty to spend less time on traditional forms of publishing and rely more on social media in which significant incentives often exist for vulgar, juvenile, and insulting speech (I’ve never been told I should be especially careful to avoid such temptations). Take a look at the website of many law schools and other academic institutions. Many strongly suggest that the way to gain fame and respect at the institution is through the social media or other outlets where eight second soundbites are norm and footnotes forbidden. More and more of my friends who do traditional, lots of footnotes, scholarship complain that they have fewer and fewer friends (if any) in the administration and they are becoming the first to be asked about buyouts. In short, Salaita strikes me as doing exactly what a great many professors are now doing to get ahead in our professions. Having pressured us to get on the social media, the administrators at our universities can hardly complain if we adopt the conventions of the social media rather than what I think are the better norms of academic discourse.
In other words, and in a perverse sense, Salaita is being unhired for doing precisely what new academic norms and academic institutional imperatives of "relevance" encourage.