A: No. Like WordPress.com, blogs.vcu.edu is a network installation of WordPress — so that means all of the pros and cons for wordpress.com on this comparison of wordpress.com and wordpress.org hold true for blogs.vcu.edu as well. Plus, this way you can leave all the maintenance to us and focus more on blogging.
Q: Can I upload or install plugins?
A: Unfortunately not, for the same reasons given in the answer to the previous question.