Kentucky State President Takes Pay Cut to Help Low-Wage University Workers

Raymond-Burse-thumbRaymond Burse who recently assumed his role as interim president of Kentucky State University in Frankfort, has made a significant gesture to the university community. President Burse has voluntarily reduced his salary as university president from $349,869 to $259,745 so that university employees who had been earning minimum wage would have their hourly rate boosted to $10.25. The wage increase will be permanent and all new hires will also receive the $10.25 hourly rate.

Burse served as president of Kentucky State from 1982 to 1989. Burse then was an executive at General Electric, serving as vice president and general counsel. He retired from GE in 2012 after 17 years at the firm.

Burse is a graduate of Centre College in Danville, Kentucky, where he double majored in chemistry and mathematics. He studied organic chemistry at Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar and later graduated from Harvard Law School.

Related Articles


  1. This makes me so proud, and I know the college employees adore him! There are quite a few college presidents with even higher salaries who could really afford to do this. This president states he didn’t do it to make other college presidents follow suit. However, I think we, as a society, have become so greedy and caught up in ‘ownership of stuff’, that charitable actions appear to be declining.

    As a former college faculty, I would do anything having a president on board who imitated President Burse! His actions demonstrate (there are no mouthy proclamations) his charitable nature. He will be blessed many times over.

  2. President Burse is to be commended and emulated for, literally, putting his money where his mouth is. We need more leaders such as this man in all aspects of our society if it is to become stronger.

  3. President Burse embodies a servant-leader. His admirable action will have far – reaching impacts. One is the employees he has blessed–a blessing that must not be taken lightly given the hard work I have seen many employees at HBCUs perform with pride and low wages. The other impact is the message of “others before self” he has taught KSU and other students. His action is clearly a desired educational outcome.

Leave a Reply

Get the JBHE Weekly Bulletin

Receive our weekly email newsletter delivered to your inbox

Latest News

Two Black Scholars Appointed to Faculty Positions

The new faculty are Esther Jones at Brown University and Dagmawi Woubshet at the University of Pennsylvania.

Ph.D. in Counselor Education and Supervision is Established at Bowie State University

"The new program will help to increase the number of counselor educators within the counseling field and the number of competent Black counselor educators," says Dr. Otis Williams, chair of the Bowie State University department of counseling and psychological studies.

Elizabeth City State University Partners With the University of Tennessee Health Science Center to Increase Representation of Black Graduate...

"We are excited by this partnership with UT Health Science Center and the opportunities this brings to our students who wish to pursue advanced degrees," said Kuldeep Rawat, dean of the Elizabeth City State University School of Science, Health and Technology.

Kimberly White-Smith Honored for Outstanding Contributions to Teacher Education

“Through her leadership and scholarship, Dr. White-Smith inspires a new generation of teachers to serve students and approach their work with equity, compassion, and respect,” said Gail F. Baker, provost and senior vice president at the University of San Diego. 

Featured Jobs