When things go wrong with university computing, we don't exactly get full disclosure. More often than not, it's hide the fact, pass the buck, issue turgid self-exonerations later.
Here's how my commercial host deals with issues:
We experienced a brief period of downtime around 4:30pm this afternoon. The problem was caused by a misconfiguration on one of our routers that subsequently required us to reload our main switch as well, and caused some other sporadic outages for approximately the last half hour. While there was intermittent downtime with our private network, access to your websites was largely unaffected with some people seeing more of an effect than others. We're currently in the process of kicking the responsible parties in the butt and working on preventing such problems in the future.
Happy DreamHost NetNotWorking Team!
It's a bit flippant but I'll take it over denial and obfuscation any day.