An interim university president decided to forego $90,000 of his salary so that his school’s lowest-paid employees could earn a living wage.
Raymond Burse, who’s been Kentucky State University’s sitting president for 12 months while its board looks for a successor, wasn’t pleased to hear that some of the college’s workers were earning a minimum wage of $7.25 an hour, even though many consider $10.25 as a living wage.
Burse had served as president of KSU from 1982-89, and then was a top executive at General Electric for 27 years. He told Kentucky.com that his decision to forego some of his typically-$349,869 salary wasn’t a difficult decision.
“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.”
Burse will now be paid $259,745 for the year.
“This is not a publicity stunt,” he said. “You don’t give up $90,000 for publicity. I did this for the people.”