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

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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