The nearest university to mine is considering laying off tenured faculty members. I have written elsewhere that I an very “pro” tenure for research institutions, but less so for K-12 and community colleges; colleges like mine, where research is done but it not emphasized a lot, are (were? My thoughts on this are currently evolving) a gray area for me.
I am not sure where St. Cloud State falls. They might do enough research for me to definitely be “pro,” or they might fall into the gray area. Regardless, it would be absolutely foolish of them (in the long-term, anyway) to lay-off a tenured faculty. This will make recruitment of new faculty difficult. Why, if she had other options, would a new hire choose to work at a school that got rid of tenured faculty members?
You do not want to be the first school to eliminate tenure.
On my evolving thoughts on tenure: I am generally becoming more “pro-tenure.” This is because I think that job security generally produces better (and more creative) workers. I am not sure why I was less pro-tenure before—perhaps some lingering elitism. Either way, I have not thought of this nearly enough to decide on my official opinion on tenure.