Faculty and staff who replied to a student email sent before Aug. 16 may not have reached that student.
IT say this error is becuase the autocomplete feature in Outlook and Exchange Online no longer works as it should. Though the autocompleted email address may appear to the eye to be correct, the location it points to no longer exists. Mail sent to these addresses will be returned to faculty as undeliverable. For students, this means that messages from professors might not have gotten through.
Faculty are now encouraged to type the full email address of the student. Previously, the abbreviated format, firstname.lastname@example.org, would work, but now faculty need to specify the mail server by typing either email@example.com for a student, or firstname.lastname@example.org for a faculty member.
In part to address this problem and others encountered over the summer, IT temporarily removed student email addresses from faculty accounts.
“While we understand a combined address book is highly desirable, we believe having an email system that functions properly with two address books is infinitely more valuable than an unreliable system with a single address book. We are in the process of identifying a solution that once again will allow email addresses to be shared between Exchange and CardMail. In the interim, we are recommending the use of “Search people, pages” found on the main university website to find student email addresses … please accept my deepest apologies for this unfortunate situation,” Vice President of IT Priscilla Hancock said.
The U of L IT department has run into a number of problems since trying to upgrade the university’s mail system to Exchange Online Protection, Microsoft’s anti-spam and anti-malware application. A recap of previous errors is below:
June 10: Emails from external sources to faculty and staff may not have reached their intended targets
June 24: Students, faculty and staff experienced delivery delays for several hours
July 9: Emails automatically forwarded from Cardmail accounts to external accounts were rejected as undeliverable
Aug. 8: An accidental settings change causes replies to emails to go undelivered
Aug. 16 – 26: Faculty emails fail to send to students; student email addresses are erased from faculty address books