Re: The Usual...
Whilst everyone here knows about treeview, clearly the lecturer didn't and presumably neither did his colleages, to me this clearly suggests lack of what should have been necessary user training.
Unlike IT, where most emails are at best read once and thrown away, most professional academic correspondance is very very important, this is not mentioned and I suggest understood by the author.
When your words are your repretation then having them disappear is indeed a major disaster, that the local IT support left the lecturer in panic for weeks until the author returned suggests that the lack of product training/understanding extended to the support staff as well.
Having seen similar balls ups where systems that have worked for years are ripped out and replaced with a new system seemingly because the non-IT purse holder has been to some expo and believed the BS that said interface is intuitive then my sympathies are with the lecturer.
I too, have been out to a number of problems that were actually down to lack of user training and were resolved (on paper) by a single click. It did not make me feel clever or superior meerly ashamed and embaressed for being associated with such a fkup.