Thank you Jessicafor a view of the world I never got to know, but got a taste of getting my MA. I never got a Ph.D. for a few of the same reasons you hit on. There is just too much politics in many universities these days. Respect from outside forces is a fickle thing, especially in higher education.
I had on professor that I thought I was respected and on the same page as for a thesis. Though, our relationship I thought we had feel apart for the simple because I was not around enough an hour away from the university. Well, that and many other politics of not being able to attend and present a paper are why I never got to another grad school to peruse a Ph.D. In the end it was for the best with my MS and health issues.
So, yeah respect is a bastard sometime and so are politics of higher education.