Here’s Mason’s provost, Peter Stearns, on the matter. My own sense is that he’s spot on. Even in the comparatively secure hard sciences, the “social contract” between institution and faculty is undergoing an evolution.
A caution however: one of the US’s enduring competitive advantages has been its ability to attract top flight scientists from all over the world. The perception that either tenure or research support is being eroded will not help, especially in a global environment where countries like China and Singapore are pouring massive amounts of money to bring the best and the brightest to their own shores.