Elitism was part of our cultural context in academe, a given we failed to criticize and overcome.
Elitism is characteristic of all petty bourgeois strata, but, we were militant. Many of our best students were recruited from the parent University, but we held ourselves apart, or behaved arrogantly and insultingly to the very people we should have tried to win over. We isolated ourselves in our little corner, until, without allies, we were easy roadkill for the unscrupulous.
Would we have survived if we'd been less isolated? Unlikely, but, there's always hope. By behaving the way we did we guaranteed there was none.