ENMU officials say lost schoolwork will be credited

Staff and wire reports

PORTALES — Eastern New Mexico University President Steven Gamble said students whose grades were lost by a computer malfunction last week will receive an A for the course.

Students also will receive full credit for any assignments that cannot be recovered either through the system or a paper trail, he said.
“We’ve worked out a way that is fair to the students,” he said.

The system, WebCT, was back up by Friday, but most of the data was not recovered, said Wendel Sloan, the university’s director of media relations.

About 700 students were enrolled in WebCT, which is used to conduct online courses and class discussions, store grades and turn in assignments.

“Some of them (students) might have lost a term paper turned in, but in the worst-case scenario, some of the professors lost everything they had for the course,” Gamble said.

Sloan said a majority of the professors have enough data to reconstruct students’ grades.

Students who are scheduled for graduation on Saturday will not be affected. The situation has been more of a hassle for faculty, Gamble said.

Technical experts say the temperature increased in a room at the Roswell campus that houses a server, causing the server to crash late last month. A backup system also failed.

“Anybody can have these problems,” Gamble said. “We just were not prepared nearly as well as we should have been.”

Outside experts have been brought in to try and retrieve any information from the servers, Gamble said.
“How successful we’ll be on that, we don’t know,” Gamble said.

Freedom Newspapers reporter Casey Peacock contributed to this report.