Is the U ugly?

office picMy gratitude for being able to cover a campus as attractive as the University of Minnesota has just been crushed.

Or bolstered.

It’s so hard to tell.

The Star Tribune has reported — in read that’s quite a bit of fun — that Travel & Leisure magazine has named the U one of the ugliest campuses in America.

TV set

It trashes Coffmann Memorial Union, and says in the main article:

Sprawling commuter campuses like the University of Minnesota may bring to mind Dunder Mifflin, the uninspired setting of the TV show “The Office.”

That statement seemed off.

The U is a commuter campus — as in one that has few or no students living on campus? Hardly. The use of the U must have been a slip.

(Note: Another campus on the ugly list? Stony Brook University – the former campus of U President Eric Kaler. Ouch — a dubious distinction.)

Yet in the article, U spokesman Chuck Tombarge notes that the U’s prettiness put it on the list of “50 Most Amazing College Campuses” at

Fox 9 also came to the U’s defense on Twitter by passing on this collection of campus photos.

And I though academic rankings were screwy.