As more colleges have adopted "family friendly" policies for professors, many experts have noted that relatively small shares of those eligible for the flexible arrangements use them. Much has been written about why this is the case, with many observers guessing that young parents, especially women, fear that asking for flexible arrangements may hurt them in the tenure process.
Conventional wisdom and plenty of books tell a story of how the post-World War II years saw a great shift take place in elite higher education: As a result of the G.I. Bill, the civil rights and women's movements, changing demographics, and some forward thinking academic leaders, you no longer needed to have the right ancestors and the right prep school to get into the top universities. Meritocracy emerged as a dominant force.