Kentucky State University's interim president Raymond Burse has given away over $90,000 of his $350,000 yearly salary to boost the pay of the university's lowest-paid employees back in August.
Burse's self-imposed pay cut will affect 24 KSU employees, bringing their pay up from $7.25 an hour to $10.25 an hour. Burse's pay will go from $349,869 a year to $259,745, an amount he says puts him in the position to be generous. The interim president credits his generosity as a response to the tough times that the country, and state, are experiencing.
"This is not a publicity stunt," Burse reassures. "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 returned to KSU on July 1st of this year in an interim position that is scheduled to run through to June 2015, or "until a permanent president is selected"
The ironically named Ray M. Burse (say it quickly) served as the university's president from 1982 to 1989 and an executive at General Electric Company from which he retired in 2012. He has received his law degree from Harvard in 1978, a bachelor's degree in both chemistry and mathematics in 1973, and honorary degrees from KYU (1989) and Centre College (2007).
The pay raises are permanent, even after a new president is selected, and will be applied to all new university hires at that pay scale.