A dynamic and productive faculty is the foundation of a high quality academic unit. Credentialing faculty, accordingly, is a necessary activity - one that needs to be controlled internally, by departments, but one that is also in accordance with the standards of the community of scholars nationally and internationally, and informed by work produced in the field generally. Especially in the digital arts, the university's credentialing activity is the area where university disciplines interact directly with creative work developed both inside and outside academia. Disciplines long-established in academe have developed the standards, policies, and processes needed for measuring academic credentials. New fields of study are obligated to produce these components, although disciplines such as digital media also will do well to use the affordances of the technology and the networks that define the field. Adopting cross-disciplinary and cross-cultural research practices, these fields are thus further tasked with finding fair and rigorous methods that address broad-based training and backgrounds for credentialing its faculty.
The Consortium of Electronic Literature (CEL), coordinated through the Electronic Literature Organization, proposes to identify and bring together recognized departments, journals, and websites with a common interest in having their work recognized by an established community of writers, artists, technology specialists, and academics. Collaboration in the Consortium will be active and focused directly on the reading, description, and evaluation of works, case by case, in the Electronic Literature Directory (ELD). The work will involve representatives of many institutions and organizations but shall remain independent of any one institution.
To facilitate this activity and ensure that all work considered is seen by all, a representative from each affiliated organization has been appointed to the Electronic Literature Directory Working Group, founded by Joseph Tabbi (University of Illinois at Chicago) and conducted by the editorial board of electronic book review (www.electronicbookreview.com).