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ETSU accidentally purges students from roll

Rex Barber • Sep 18, 2012 at 11:04 PM

Around 10,000 students were accidentally purged from the rolls at East Tennessee State University Monday, leading to problems with access to online courses, according to a school spokesman.

Nearly every student who was not supposed to be dropped from school had been reinstated in the computer system as of 1 p.m. Tuesday, but some remained off the roll. ETSU reported more than 15,000 students were attending the school this fall.

Students at the James H. Quillen College of Medicine and the Bill Gatton College of Pharmacy were not affected by this purge.

ETSU spokesman Joe Smith said a routine purge of students who had not paid tuition was being performed Monday but an incorrect code in the purging command began eliminating everyone.

The purge took people off the GoldLink system used to track student records, including bill payment, course schedules, personal information and grades. When the students were no longer recognized in the GoldLink system, they were also no longer recognized in the school’s online course administration program called D2L.

“We apologize for this inconvenience,” Smith said Tuesday afternoon. “Everyone was patient with us and we really appreciate that as we get all this resolved.”

The school activated an alert about the situation, because students who depend on D2L to submit assignments and get new ones were unable to do so. ETSU President Brian Noland sent an email to all students explaining the situation Monday afternoon and offering his apologies.

Smith said work began to reinstate students as soon as the error was discovered.

In his email to the campus community, Noland asked faculty who use D2L to verify their classes have been restored and that everyone who is supposed to be in them is on the list.

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