Why a University President Gave Up $90K of His Salary

Kentucky State University Interim President Raymond Burse (Courtesy of Kentucky State University)

Raymond Burse, the interim president at Kentucky State University (KSU), is putting his money where his mouth is.

Asked to temporarily lead the university he headed for much of the 1980s, Burse said he’d return on one condition: the school’s minimum-wage workers get a raise. He even told KSU’s board he would forego $90,000 of his salary so that the 24 minimum-wage workers on the Frankfort, KY campus can make $10.10 an hour.

“I did it because I thought it was the right thing to do for those employees,” Burse told MSNBC’s Ed Shultz.

Burse, who makes about $300,000 annually, also pledged to take further salary cuts if new minimum-wage employees are hired during his tenure.

“What’s most important is that we’ve been able to raise their standard of living by the contribution that I am making to them,” said Burse. “That to me says it all.”

When asked if the federal minimum wage should be raised from $7.25 an hour, Burse responded: “Something’s got to be done, and it should be done soon.”

Click here to watch Burse’s interview on MSNBC.