Academic fads come and go; administrators do, too. Buildings are torn down and new ones go up. Students seem to keep getting younger. Throughout these fluctuations, one thing about college life remains constant: professors are in the middle of it all.
From another side, there are the students (and their parents) who, justifiably or not, are seen as customers who are always right -- or at the very least, customers who have paid for and deserve a good product.