Doesn't the client have the password for anything like that? I'd have the university sue the company if they did soemthing like that to us.
Unless the developer is selling their own off the shelf solution, when they develop a specific solution for a client's specifications, especially in software that's widespread like Office, they have no business whatsoever locking down the code.
The client should go after these guys for the password. They paid for the development, therefore, the code belongs to the client. Period.
I don't know about the business of locking down BA on Excel – if it's anything like it is in making an mde (or whatever the heck they call it in the world of the new accmdb crap of 2007+), you may want to contact these folks, Everything Access. They don't look like they deal with Excel, but might be able to refer you somehwere else? I'm just guessing. I used Everything Access about 6 years ago when my PC died and lost a number of MDBs (I always distribute MDEs) – now I religiously back up my code on a server! They were very good.
One thing, though, they, or (hopefully) someone they recommend will probably demand proof of ownership of the app that needs to be cracked. EA would not do a thing for me otherwise.
Other than that, I can't help you, sorry. I wish I could. I'm still developing in A2003 and have never bothered with Excel except to translate the graph library into VBA I can port to Access.