An electrical issue Tuesday knocked the University of Colorado's website and email offline for hours, causing interruptions across the campus and stalling registration for some engineering students.

The school's Office of Information Technology reported that the problem began at 3 a.m. Tuesday.

Malinda Miller-Huey, a CU spokeswoman, said the campus restored services on a rolling basis. The school's Ethernet, wireless services, email and network were restored in the morning, and the school's main website went back up around 1 p.m.

Although the school in the past has experienced problems with its "Desire2Learn" system, Tuesday's episode had no connection with the system and was entirely electrical, Miller-Huey said.

The Desire2Learn system did go down in the outage but is working again. Many faculty members use the system to manage course-related materials, electronic dropboxes for assignments, online quizzes, e-portfolios and grades.

The outage also caused problems for engineering students who were trying to register for classes Tuesday morning. Now that the portal is back up, they'll be able to register, and their window for registration has been extended, Miller-Huey said.

Students on the campus reported hiccups in their day because of the outage. Ji Peng, a doctoral student studying numerical computation, was unable to download data from the JANUS supercomputer for a research project.

"I thought it was a server problem at first," he said.

However, he said he wasn't working on an urgent deadline.

Meanwhile, Thomas Jeffries, an engineering student, couldn't see what grades he got in summer session courses because the outage caused the student portal to go down. And Jenna Capnerhurst, who works in security at Norlin Library, wasn't able to use the school's directory to find email addresses for students who left their cell phones or student identifications in the library.

Miller-Huey said the campus and IT officials will debrief about the cause of the incident and what could be done to prevent it in the future.

Contact Camera Staff Writer Brittany Anas at 303-473-1132 or