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OCAAUP and OFT Support STRS Board Chair Fichtenbaum Against Baseless Allegations

Sara Kilpatrick, Executive Director of the Ohio Conference of the American Association of University Professors (OCAAUP), and Melissa Cropper, President of the Ohio Federation of Teachers, released the following statement in response to baseless, politically-motivated accusations against Dr. Rudy Fichtenbaum, an STRS Board member since 2021:

“On Wednesday, May 15, the Ohio Attorney General filed a frivolous lawsuit claiming that STRS Board Member Dr. Rudy Fichtenbaum breached his fiduciary duties and therefore must be removed from his position on the Retirement Board. The lawsuit arrived on the heels of anonymous, spurious allegations made against Dr. Fichtenbaum, which he thoroughly rebutted in a public statement

We are dismayed that the turmoil at STRS has escalated to a level at which public money is now being misused to remove a board member, one who has an unequivocal track record of fighting for quality pensions for STRS members. Dr. Fichtenbaum has enjoyed tremendous support from STRS members, which is why on the same day that this lawsuit was filed, his peers elected him as the new Chair of the Retirement Board. 

Dr. Fichtenbaum, an emeritus economics professor and long-time AAUP member – including service as president of the national AAUP and Ohio Conference AAUP – is a person of integrity who has faithfully served in every position to which he has been elected. The baseless claims that have been made amount to slander. Any real investigation would reveal the frivolity of this lawsuit. We fully support Dr. Fichtenbaum and hope that STRS can get back to the business of serving its members.”

May 20, 2024

Contacts: Sara Kilpatrick (AAUP), 614-420-5718,                

Neil Bhaerman (OFT), 412-266-4899,

Rudy Fichtenbaum and Wade Steen are paying legal fees to defend themselves against the lawsuit brought against them by A.G. Dave Yost. ORTA will use donations from the Pension Defense Fund to help them pay their legal expenses. They have volunteered their time to support Ohio's teachers. Now it's time for us to show our support for them. Make a donation today to the ORTA Pension Defense Fund.



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