Most law schools go through it from time to time – budget cuts, call backs, etc. The truly unfortunate part is that they are likely to hit untenured people hardest. Staff people can be fired unlike the privileged professors they work along side.
There is an upside. If a faculty is bloated with special interest and boutique courses, a freeze can mean trimming some of the fat and requiring the privileged ones teach what they promised to teach, indeed what the craved to teach, when they were hired. You remember those interview -- "I just love to teach," "Of course, I would teach torts."
Yes, a budget squeeze is just the ticket to test the pulse of an administration. Is it willing to require the hiring committees focus only on high need areas? Is it willing to cut programs based on benefit to those who pay the bills or will the old favorites favored by members of the administration or its closest friend be the ones that go?