Consumer demands and annual budgetary inconsistencies have caused today's postsecondary academic landscape to continuously shift and change. Challenges to remain competitive or simply survive impact postsecondary institutions at their most fundamental level: those who are teaching the core curricula. Within the discipline of English, lecturers teach the core undergraduate composition courses. They usually work on annual contracts and maintain 4/4 teaching loads with little, if any, job security, for low wages, long hours, and less prestige within the academic community. Yet, the number of postgraduates applying for lectureship positions seems endless. In light of the current academic culture this study asks: is the university English lecturer considered a colleague, or a commodity?The conclusions of the eight participants from six public universities within the University of North Carolina (UNC) system are: 1) Lecturers felt that they and their courses were marginalized by their institutions and to an extent, by their peers. 2) Job satisfaction was linked to the department and to their students rather than to their institution or peers. 3) Validation from teaching and control in their classrooms compensated for the heavy workload, poor wages, and job insecurity. 4) All lecturers felt more status over adjunct faculty but MAs felt less valued than those with PhDs. 5) Lecturers with terminal degrees showed more discontent and viewed this position as transitory. 6) All participants saw themselves as valid contributing professionals and thought that teaching composition was an honorable and important contribution to the institution, department, and to student development.