College President Donates $90,000 of His Salary to Low-Wage Campus Workers

The interim president of Kentucky State University cut his own pay so that the low wages of 24 workers on his campus would be increased.

The lowest-paid workers at Kentucky State University will soon get a bump in their paychecks, thanks to the generosity of the head of KSU.

According to the Lexington Herald-Leader, interim KSU president Raymond Burse elected to decrease his salary from $349,869 to $259,745. The $90,000 pay cut will be used to boost the pay of 24 of the university’s lowest-paid employees to $10.25 per hour, WLKY said. Some of the workers were making just $7.25.

Burse was named interim president in June, after the former president retired. He will work in that position for 12 months. Previously Burse served as KSU’s president from 1982 to 1989, the Herald-Leader said. He then worked as an executive at General Electric.

According to the Herald-Leader:

“This is not a publicity stunt,” [Burse] said. “You don’t give up $90,000 for publicity. I did this for the people. This is something I’ve been thinking about from the very beginning.”

Burse started talking with the KSU Board of Regents about decreasing his salary to benefit KSU employees a couple of weeks before his contract was reviewed by the board, the Herald-Leader said.

“My whole thing is I don’t need to work,” Burse said. “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.”

The $10.25 hourly rate change is effective immediately and will remain in place even after a new KSU president is hired.

Can you imagine if other employers followed suit, cutting their pay to benefit their low-wage employees?

What do you think of Burse’s decision? Share your thoughts below or on our Facebook page.

Stacy Johnson

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