News release here; still digesting the complaint, will post more after I'm through it.
MORE: The complaint, which has been filed in federal court here, adds details about the initial offer and acceptance, and the conduct of the defendants that I had not seen previously. Salaita is suing the University of Illinois Trustees and administrators for violation of his First Amendment speech rights and for violation of his due process rights; he is suing all the defendants for "conspiracy" under the applicable Civil Rights statute (which basically authorizes a civil action for deprivation of constitutional rights); he is suing the Trustees on the basis of promissory estoppel (see the discussion under #5 here) and for breach of contract (these claims are in the alternative, he won't prevail on both); he is suing the (as of now) unknown donors for tortious interference with contract, basically wrongful interference with the contract he had with the University (some readers my age or older will recall that this was the claim on which Penzoil secured a multi-billion dollar verdict against Texaco in the 1980s); he is suing all the defendants for intentional infliction of emotional distress; and he is suing Chancellor Wise for destroying pertinent evidence.
The defendants will, as I've remarked before, move to dismiss the complaint--in doing so, the court will take the facts as Salaita represents them and decide whether they state legal claims. Some of the claims may be dismissed: I'd bet on the intentional infliction of emotional distress claim to be dismissed. What is certain is that some (indeed, I expect, most) of the claims will survive the motion to dismiss. At that point, Salaita will be entitled to wide-reaching "discovery" of defendants's e-mails, phone records, internal memos, and so on. Since that is bound to be a huge embarrassment for many or all of the defendants, a settlement will be reached at that point: that's my prediction in any case. It will likely be confidential, will involve payment of Salaita's attorney fees and, I would hope, a seven figure payout to Salaita.
UPDATE: Just to be clear, given the facts and the law, Salaita ought to prevail on the merits on his First Amendment claim and either his breach of contract or promissory estoppel claim; he will also prevail on the due process claim if the court finds that there was a valid employment contract, which as we discussed previously, it should, but that's not guaranteed by any means. Most likely to be dismissed are the intentional infliction of emotional distress claim and the tortious interference with contract, though the latter might survive.