This dynamic was embedded with a crisis of authority; any claim regarding an overarching purpose, any statement of a unifying principle could be trumped by an appeal to personal sovereignty -- the political aspect of the Protestant dynamic to which the philosophical aspects are subordinated. So the whole thing was bound to be revolutionary. This revolution happened to play out in stages.
When many of the universities became businesses or tools of government, that was a pivotal step in the long process of incremental revolutions. The crisis of authority persists -- there is no one willing to "displease the entitlement brats", as you say. There is no one to identify or nominate an explicit authority empowered to fix the problem, because the old dynamic will instantly shoot it down. So the entitlement brats, or rather the government who manipulates them, are the de facto authority.