I disagree here. I think no one has more influence over a child's life than the parents followed by the child's peers/friends. If parents do a good job at raising their children they should in theory select good friends who will only further enforce good values.
They have more impact on a person's life than a professor who we are exposed to for 5 months of our life after the majority of our values have been defined.
Right on parents, but where do parents learn the values to inculcate into their children? From their parents to some extent, to be sure; however, they also learn them from going to college and being exposed to "new" ideas for more like 4-5 years rather than 5 months. This period in a persons life is quite impressionable and is the time in which it is most likely a person will make altering changes in philosophy.
Relatively simple ideas can be conveyed in a short time, and can have life-altering impacts, especially in a time when young adults are breaking away from their parents and making a philosophy their own. The fact that they are of "majority" does not mean that they have the solid catechesis and maturity of judgement that comes with years of experience. Young adults are very easily swayed by sophist arguments that appear on their face to be good, but upon deeper analysis are fundamentally flawed. They are even more easily swayed when such philosophies justify sinful behaviors in which they want to engage, or confirm such a person in a sinful lifestyle, or even cause a person to keep silent when he or she should caution a friend against a life choice that is objectively gravely disordered (homosexual relationships come to mind).
The primacy of personal choice as the defining good and the concept of moral relativism, which appear to be the de facto liberal philosophical bases, are good examples of this problem. This mindset, which has taken deep roots in academia, is very attractive at first but leads to people defending as "good" objectively grave evils such as abortion, euthanasia, artificial birth control, homosexual "marriage," and sexual promiscuity to name just a few. These grave evils have taken hold due to the apparent justifications provided by the above philosophies, which are defended by liberal academia.
Additionally, our leaders and professionals are trained in this environment. Policies are made and advocated by academics based on the underlying philosophies described above. This thought has a profound influence on how leaders and professionals behave when they enter their respective fields. Collectively, their decisions affect society profoundly. People in power, such as the president for example, might individually have the power to change the course of society.
The results of the successful hold of liberal thought in academia are clear. We see it in the election of our officials, in the appointments they make, in the sophist arguments that are pitched to the public, and in so many other ways. We see it in the population implosion in Europe and in the very way we have setup our Western societies. We are so concerned with being "neutral" on positions of morality and religion, that we are fostering an environment in which giving up our very identities and even possibly our souls is attractive as being "good."
Do I blame liberal academia for all our problems? No. Are all liberal ideas evil? No. However, the fundamental bases of choice and moral relativism in liberal philosophy as being the defining goods are gravely problematic, and academics that have supported and defended this underlying liberal philosophy have made our problems much worse by propagating a philosophy that leads to objectively evil results.
While I am not in academia myself, I am intimiately familiar with it through family and friends. I know just how hostile it can be. While usually not overtly hostile, the hostility manifests itself in subtle ways under the guise of disinterested reason. I find it highly ironic that while most liberals vigorously defend the free exchange of ideas, they actively - if not overtly - seek to censor the exchange in their own environment.
Would I suppress ideas? No. However, the balance has been lost and it needs to be restored. We need to return academia to the position that there are absolutes in right and wrong, and that there are evils that simply should not be tolerated under the name of "tolerance."
I applaud your desire to be a professor, and it is an immensely rewarding experience. I question your motivations though. Depending on the college/university, you will often have to sacrifice of yourself for the better of your students. You must respect their beliefs. If you feel that you have a calling to spread the Word, consider becoming a deacon or a priest. Or a line of work that might not be in academia.
I agree with this assessment, but I still encourage the OP to get into the good fight.