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University president takes pay cut to raise wages of workers

A view of Kentucky State University's Jackson Hall. Credit: Wikimedia Commons A view of Kentucky State University's Jackson Hall.
Credit: Wikimedia Commons

A college president is being widely applauded for voluntarily cutting his salary in order to increase the wages of his university’s lowest paid workers.

Earlier this summer, Kentucky State University’s interim president Raymond Burse announced that he’d be talking a $90,000 pay cut in order to give raises to the school’s lowest paid workers. The news site TakePart reports that due to the budget reorganization, those employees are now being paid $10.25 an hour, which is considered a living wage in the state.

Burse insists he only had the campus workers’ wellbeing in mind when he made his big decision.

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"This is not a publicity stunt," said Burse in an interview with Kentucky’s Herald-Leader. "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."

A 2011 report by the Chronicle of Higher Education noted that 42 private university presidents made more than $1 million that year.

Prior to joining Kentucky State, Burse was a longtime executive at General Electric. His salary after the pay cut will be $259,744 annually.

Follow Lakshmi Gandhi on Twitter @LakshmiGandhi.

 
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