Organizational change comes slowly in academia. While new centers and institutes may pop up easily with the influx of funding, the underlying structural realities that shape the lives of faculty, staff, and students remain powerfully consistent. The size and complexity of the organization, the primary orientation to internal drives and motivations (as opposed to market forces), and the intensity and longevity of interpersonal relationships necessitated by the tenure system all conspire to keep things in place.
The benefits to this stability are significant. Higher education is one of the most robust entities in a time of economic trouble. The security intended by tenure allows individuals and even institutions to travel far into unexplored territory. And the intellectual pursuit of truth and understanding is less likely to be diverted by cultural whims, reactionary crises, or power manipulations than is true in business, politics, and other arenas.
But, of course, there is a downside to the stability of the academic organizational culture as well. Habits and customs may be more closely guarded and revered. The natural resistance that arises within any change process can be amplified. And the academic equivalent of dysfunctional family dynamics can, as within a family system, carry on across generations.
All of this must be taken into account in any strategic effort to redirect the course of a department, school, or university.