It is curious, that beneath the libertarian views held by most of the academic world, that the hierarchy of the academe is enforced strictly in the name of tradition. During graduations, for example, the Phd regalia is different from students graduating with only a college degree, the same way Faculty regalia is easily identifiable by its markings from other Academic regalia. By identification, a position of one being lower or higher than the other is achieved, and with full consent and enforcement by the whole school. And this is done without question or thought, and it is a remarkable achievement for any educational institution.
In the real world outside schools, such distinctions between people, classes and wealth may be important, but in the academe where people of education and intelligence are said to be produced, this kind of hierarchy makes little sense. If the value of an individual is based on academic achievements and not necessarily by tenure or by the length of one’s stay in school, arranging the whole academic population by uniform and markings becomes less important.
The only safe and explanation for the hierarchy is the tradition of the school, but certainly not the reasonable explanation. It should already be assumed that scholastic achievement is equivalent to respect in the academe, and yet the rules are still enforced without question. Perhaps it is just human behavior performing outside the boundaries of reason – one waits for one’s turn at the top of the hierarchy with all patience, while starting at the bottom with the same equanimity.