At the request of Kentucky State University Interim President Raymond Burse, 24 university employees at the lower end of the university's pay scale will receive a pay increase out of his personal salary.
After a closed session Friday, Karen Bearden, KSU Board of Regents chair, requested a motion to ratify Burse's contract. The board approved a motion to amend Burse's salary to $259,744.04 per year.
Based upon Burse's experience and comparable to other university presidents in Kentucky, Bearden said the board would've paid $349,869 "in recognition of his skills, talents and ability to make significant contributions to this institution."
"President Burse has asked the board to pay 24 employees who are currently earning less than $10.25 per hour the amount necessary to bring their salaries to $10.25 per hour and this amount would be reduced from the base pay salary that this board would pay him."
The KSU board approved taking the $90,124.96 reduction and applying it to the campus employees, which Burse saw as a necessary gesture.
"It takes everybody on this campus to do what we need to do to improve it," Burse said.
"I want everybody on the team to be involved and this is one way of showing employees on the lower end of the pay scale that they are important as well," he explained.
Burse said the 24 employees who were making as low as $7.25 an hour were deserving of an increase, even if it meant taking a reduction in pay for himself.
"They are the people that do the physical labor on this campus on a daily basis. They are the ones that make it look good. I think they deserve to be rewarded," Burse said.
"We live in some very tough times and we want to make certain that they know we, the board and myself, care about them and want to do the very best by them."