University President Takes $90K Pay Cut to Boost Wages of Low-Income Employees

Hourly minimum wage in the area is just over eight dollars

His time may be short, but Kentucky State University interim president Raymond Burse is making his term memorable. Recently, Burse and the school's Board of Regents approved a measure to move $90,000 of his salary to inflate the wages of the university's minimum wage workforce – a move that will increase hourly wages to $10.25 per hour.

​Burse, the University's former president from 1982 to 1989, recently came back to KSU as a temporary replacement for now-retired president Mary Evans Sias. Between his stints as KSU president, Burse spent 17 years with General Electric before retiring in 2012.

"My whole thing is I don't need to work," Burse explains. "This is not a hobby, but in terms of the people who do the hard work and heavy lifting, they are at the lower pay scale." This should help local residents where an hourly living wage of a single adult in the area is just over eight dollars, while an adult with a child can be more than $17, notes Vox. After reducing his salary, Burse stands to make slightly above $250,000 for the year. Burse joins a small movement in University administration. Presidents from Hampton University and Centenary College of Louisiana have either slashed their own income or increased wages to fall in line with President Obama's call for a countrywide minimum wage of $10.10 per hour.

The new wages take immediate effect, remaining in place after Burse's departure. The university now plans for all new hires to receive the same wage upon hiring.

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The fact that some of the leaders of industry are able and willing to serve at a lower salary is wonderful. It is to be safeguarded by those who have control. It has merit and strength beyond its designation or actual function.
It is in main the salvation and growth of our way of life and our growth. It will allow us to stay on top.

September 08 2014 at 10:55 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

First, while $340K (or even $250K, for that matter) seems like a lot of money, it's NOTHING compared to the salaries of many college/university presidents, some of whom make seven figures annually. A university president is (1) the public face of the school; (2) the institution's Chief Executive Officer; (3) the school's principal fundraiser; and (4) usually a top-flight executive and/or scholar. As Mr. Burse indicated, he doesn't need the money, indicating that he likely did extraordinarily well in his previous stint as a GE senior executive. As the head of a historically black university, he's modeling the notion of "giving back," which is highly valued in the African American community. I say accept the move on face value.

September 08 2014 at 9:16 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Very noble of Mr. Burse. These Schools and College Presidents are really ripping the American people off, and putting students/parents in terrible debt with their outright greed. People complaining about fast food workers asking for wage increases, when these crooks are really criminals with their greed.

September 08 2014 at 7:14 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

all you hacks ought to work for nothing

September 04 2014 at 10:42 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

He will make a $250,000 in a non profit job.
He is the one that should be receiving the $90,000.

September 04 2014 at 3:57 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Nice of the guy, but how come no one is asking why a Glorified Teacher is making $340,000 a year to begin with. Cant imagine what the professors are being paid, and yet we wonder why it costs so much for College now adays, hmmmm

September 04 2014 at 12:53 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

Could someone out there please see that this article; that knowledge of this selfless act of generosity, gets to those bastards who run WalMart?

September 04 2014 at 12:22 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply

If there were more people like him, the world would be a better place. He didn't have to do it.

September 04 2014 at 11:35 AM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to rightman.rightman's comment

He had a guilty conscience
$340,000- for a non profit job !

September 04 2014 at 3:59 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

What a generous move. The employees affected will appreciate him!

August 11 2014 at 1:38 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply

It is hard to find a man of principal nowadays but this man is truly one…

August 07 2014 at 3:10 AM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to ROB SYKES's comment

I agree. Wish more CEO's had his generosity. Applauding him!

August 11 2014 at 1:44 AM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply

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