By Troy Torres
(Tumon, Guam) A government credit card issued to Dr. Rachael Leon Guerrero, the University of Guam director of research and sponsored programs, was used on back-to-back purchases at Macy's Department Store at the Micronesia Mall in 2018.
A $469.88 purchase was made at Macy's on February 26, 2018, according to a Bank of Guam credit card statement for a Mastercard paid for by the island's taxpayers. That was a Tuesday and a workday. A day later on Wednesday, February 27, 2018, another transaction from that same credit card was made at Macy's for $359.70.
The total $829.58 in purchases appears in the March 2018 credit card statement received by the UOG Business Office on March 28, 2018. Dr. Robert Underwood was the president of the university at the time.
Macy's corporate office is in San Francisco; it is a department store for the more affluent members of society, carrying name brand clothes, jewelry, cosmetics, bed and bath, home appliances, purses, watches, furniture and shoes. According to its website, "Macy’s, Inc. is one of the nation’s premier omnichannel retailers. We operate more than 800 department and specialty stores under the Macy’s, Bloomingdale’s and Bluemercury brands. With a national stores footprint, robust e-commerce business and rich mobile experience, our customers can shop the way they live - anytime and through any channel."
Ms. Leon Guerrero is in charge of the university's Office of Research and Sponsored Programs. According to UOG's website, "Research at UOG is supported by the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs (ORSP). The ORSP supports faculty members and eligible University personnel to conduct research activities in collaboration with the various Micronesia colleges, as well as, select public and private agencies locally, nationally and internationally."
The following are listed by the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs as its priorities:
Support faculty members and University personnel to conduct research activities and to successfully manage existing research and sponsored projects
Select public and private agencies locally, nationally, and internationally.
Seek external funding and engage in projects related to the mission and goals of the University
Coordinating research and management studies for the Cooperative Ecosystem Studies units on agreements with Department of Navy, NPS, and other federal agencies. Currently 2.5 million in natural resources agreement studies.
Nothing in UOG's charter, mission, plans, or promises to the taxpayers - the people, who largely fund UOG and its credit cards - says anything about using that money to "Discover the Magic of Macy's."