Here's my best shot at our bad news email assignment. There are a million and one ways I can pull it apart, but unfortunately I can't figure out a better way to say it, so I think this is about it. Comments are still very much welcome, though! Good or bad - I want to know what you think!
Dear Professor Smith,
Thank you for your patience with our department as we have been working to recover from a major server failure last week. The breakdown unfortunately affected all departments and deleted every course website that was created within the past year. After you emailed us we discovered that the automatic backup system for your site was not enabled when it was created 6 months ago. Although this means that the data cannot be restored, we have created a new website with the same web address so you can begin posting material as soon as you wish.
You can access your new website right away at www.universityofblank.ca/ ssmith, using your original username and the password ssmith0708. Please let me know if there is any way we can help you as you restructure your website. Thank you for your understanding.
Director of Information Technology Services,
University of Blank