Sherle's quicky definition of academic elite: folks with book-learnin' and no common sense.
Wikipedia's definition of academic elite:
Academic elitism is a charge sometimes levied at academic institutions and academics more broadly; use of the term "ivory tower" often carries with it an
implicit critique of academic elitism. Anti-intellectuals often perceive themselves as champions of ordinary people and populism against elitism, especially academic elitism. These critics argue that highly educated people form an isolated social group and tend to dominate political discourse in higher education (academia). Another criticism is that universities tend more to pseudo-intellectualism than intellectualism per se; for example, to protect their positions and prestige, academics may over-complicate problems and express them in obscure language -- things a true intellectual would avoid.