spoke too soon -- still can't connect
PPTP won't work, and the people at my university won't give me a key or certificate, so I can't use any of the IPSec flavors available for vpn.
I was able to connect to my university vpn by downloading Cisco AnyConnect, and using that instead of Android's own vpn feature.
I would prefer to use the native Android vpn utility, but I guess it's not going to happen. For connecting to my university, I guess I am just going to have to use Cisco. Doesn't matter much anyway, now that I am graduated the University will terminate my account a few months from now...
and I'll sign up for the Tsukuba vpn gate project. That's supposed to work with Android.