Here's a note from David Chatham, Dean of Academic Technology:
Blackboard has confirmed that the functional index is causing the Instructor comment field to display incorrectly for students. The data is not lost and, as many have pointed out, if the student enters the assignment they can see the correct instructor comments. Blackboard would like to remove the functional index patch tonight to restore the proper functionality of the student view on Instructor comments. I believe that is the prudent thing to do at this time. It would avoid further confusion for students and instructors viewing the comments. BB plans to continue working on this on the QA server for us. Once it is resolved, we can look at re-applying it late at night.
I have heard some concern about whether this would adversely affect the performance of the server to undo this functional index. At this time, I don't believe we can demonstrate that this change gave us a performance boost. It's purpose was to control SQL queries that were eating up processor resources. This can also be managed by constant monitoring by Vista hosting. The run away away SQL hasn't been "acting up" since November 15. Performance is also affected by the number of users on the system at one time, and I am not sure the level of activity has completely returned today from what is was prior to last week.
I will put up a notice for all users that the server will have maintenance tonight from 2 AM to 4 AM MT (Tuesday)