Thank goodness for arcane unintelligibility! Hurrah for gobbledygook! For without it, there could never be any public intellectuals. In fact, the lifeblood of scholars who are public intellectuals is exactly the kind of complex and often indecipherable academic work that Kristof bemoans. You cannot have one without the other.
The intransigence of administrators over these issues reflects the broader corporatization of American higher education, where research is increasingly a commodity to be bought and sold, education a product to be made as cheaply as possible, and professors are laborers stripped of rights and job security.