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What one university president did to give two dozen workers a raise

Published: Tuesday, Aug. 12 2014 4:45 a.m. MDT

Updated: Tuesday, Aug. 12 2014 4:05 p.m. MDT

Kentucky State University's president has decided to take a $90,000 pay cut from $350,000 so that two dozen workers at KSU can see their hourly wage rise to $10.25,

Andy Dean, ©istockphoto.com/Feverpitched

Kentucky State University's president has decided to take a $90,000 pay cut from $350,000 so that two dozen workers at KSU can see their hourly wage rise to $10.25, Slate reported.

Raymond Burse, the university's interim president, said he doesn't "need to work," but he's not taking the cut just for show.

"This is not a publicity stunt," he told the Lexington 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."

The workers were making $7.25 an hour, Slate reported. "Burse said he was in a position to spread the wealth after a career that included a previous stint as president of Kentucky State University in the 1980s, and a decade as a senior executive at General Electric," Elliot Hannon wrote for Slate.

"My whole thing is I don't need to work," Burse said to the Herald-Leader. "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."

The pay increase for workers will stay in place even when a new president takes over at KSU. Merlene Davis wrote for the Herald-Leader that the rate will be the same for all new hires, $10.25, and the change is immediate.

Thinkprogress.com reported that "there are nine public university presidents and 42 private school presidents who make more than a million dollars per year, according to the Chronicle of Higher Education, and KSU doesn’t make their rankings at all."

In addition, "the number of school presidents earning more than a million dollars per year has risen in recent years, and one study has found that public universities that pay their presidents more also leave their graduates with higher debt levels and rely more on cheaper adjunct faculty than on long-term professors to teach their students," Alan Pyke of Think Progress wrote.

amcdonald@deseretnews.com

Twitter | @amymcdonald89

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