Every university has its share of professors who act like the slackers described by Adam Smith. The ones who live hundreds (or thousands) of miles away from campus and come in for concentrated bursts of teaching a couple of dozen times a year. The ones who use their university affiliation to build lucrative consulting businesses, then ignore their university responsibilities. The ones who turn strategic incompetence into an art form, doing all administrative jobs so badly that they live a peaceful, service-free lifestyle. The dedicated holders-on, who cling to their academic positions, as the gap between their productivity and their salary gets wider and wider.
They're a small minority, and even some of their colleagues would hope to see them first against the wall when the revolution comes.
But that's not the way life works, as was evidenced by the recent media hoopla about an American university professor breastfeeding her baby in a Sex, Culture and Gender class. The professor in question has a high ratemyprofessor score (based on a small number of ratings), and is research active. She's not tenured, so if she's not doing her job, she will be out of work soon enough anyways.
When the time comes to reform universities, administrators will find that buying out us old slackers is expensive, firing us is difficult, and reforming us impossible. It's easier to impose structural change on the young - junior faculty who find themselves working under very different terms and conditions from those enjoyed by their elders.
If the junior faculty - who are often young and female - protest, I suspect they will receive relatively little public support. Despite the various conversations about the end of men, and women outperforming men in education, I believe there is a general tendency to see what male academics do as "real reseach", and what female academics do as - I don't know - something less serious, and certainly less worthy of public support.
Those who think I'm being overly gloomy might want to take another read of Adam Smith: