I don't think anyone with a straight face would say that academia is something that should not be respected. Education and our educational system are what separate us from the rest of the animal kingdom and what makes us rise above being savages. As such we should show academia respect.
Without academic institutions people who want to pursue advanced learning would be left to their own devices to find people knowledgeable in their field. They would probably have to communicate from long distances and they would not be able to avail themselves of a rounded education unless they took it upon themselves to learn it. The ability to go to college and learn from a diverse group of faculty is a true benefit.
Academia should be worthy of respect as it always has. Back in Roman times, the educated were often looked to for advise from leaders and other in times of need. They were the ones with the answers because they tended to have more knowledge of past and present. This is an ideal we need to go back to.
Some of our greatest thinkers, best scientific and medical research have all come from academia. The institution of academia keeps this country viable; it provides an avenue for higher critical thinking skills and generally prepares our youth for life in the adult world. Any institution that can perform all these services for society is worthy of great respect.