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Aug 05, 2014 05:05 AM EDT

KSU Interim President Gives up $90,000 to Boost Paychecks of Lowest-Paid Workers

KSU Interim President Gives up $90,000 to Boost Paychecks of Lowest-Paid Workers.
(Photo : CC/Flickr: 401K) KSU Interim President Gives up $90,000 to Boost Paychecks of Lowest-Paid Workers.

The Kentucky State University Board of Regents approved Raymond Burse's request to hand him a pay-cut.

The interim president has decided to allocate the difference amount to increase the salary of 24 "minimum wage" employees. Burse said that some of the employees were just earning as little as $7.25 an hour, the federal minimum wage, wbko reports.

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As a result, Burse will receive $259,744 annually instead of $349,869, while the employee's wages will be raised to $10.25 an hour.


Burse said the move is to ensure that university workers are made aware that school's board and president "care about them and want to do the very best by them."

"This is not a publicity stunt," Burse said. "You don't give up $90,000 for publicity. I did this for the people," Lexington Herald-Leader reports. "I was in a position where I could do that."

Burse was named interim president at the Frankfort school in June after former President Mary Sias retired in May. He served as the school's president from 1982 to 1989 before working for General Electric as a senior executive and retiring in 2012.

This year, Kentucky's state legislature drafted a bill to increase the state's minimum wage to $10.10. But, the bill failed to pass in the state senate. For a single adult, the minimum living wage is $8.29 per hour and for an adult with a child, it's $17.37 per hour, Vox reports.

According to the Chronicle of Higher Education, other college presidents have adopted similar actions. The Hampton University president donated over $100,000 to give a raise to low-wage workers of $9 per hour. On the other hand, the president of the Centenary College in Louisiana increased the wages of 25 employees who were at the low end of the school's pay scale.

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