Cook, Saran Named Vice Deans of UB Law School

By Ilene Fleischmann

Release Date: May 30, 2003 This content is archived.


BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Marlene M. Cook and Melinda R. Saran, two longtime staff members of the University at Buffalo Law School, have been promoted to the rank of vice dean.

Cook, who has been named vice dean for resource management, has served UB, including its law school, for more than 24 years as a financial officer. She manages and supervises all budgetary activity for the school, as well as oversees the use of John Lord O'Brian Hall, the law school's facility. In addition, Cook administers all personnel matters, including direct supervision of 17 staff members.

Before joining the law school in 1988, she served as assistant dean for UB's Faculty of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, where she supervised a budget of more than $20 million, and as assistant dean for academic affairs and financial management in the UB School of Management, where she oversaw the school's move from the South Campus to the North Campus' Jacobs Management Center. She previously served as assistant to the vice president for finance and management in Buffalo State College's Policy and Planning Office, and as a counselor and admissions counselor for students and prospective students.

Since 1979, Cook has served as an adjunct assistant professor in the Department of Organizations and Human Resources in UB's School of Management. An active member of the university community, she has served since 1979 on the Professional Staff Senate, and is a recipient of the Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Professional Service, the highest award presented to a member of the professional staff in the State University of New York system.

She received a bachelor's degree in education and a master's degree in higher-education administration from Buffalo State College, and a doctoral degree in educational administration from UB.

She lives in East Amherst.

Saran, who has been named vice dean for student affairs, received her law degree from the UB Law School, and has practiced extensively in special-education and disability law, areas in which she continues to provide consultation.

Saran became an instructor in UB's Education Law Clinic in 1989 before becoming associate director for clinical education, acting director of clinical education, then associate dean for student services. In addition, she teaches a course on disability law and a colloquium at the UB Law School.

She is a frequent lecturer on education and disability law issues for attorneys, educators, individuals with disabilities, parents of children with disabilities and professionals.

A longstanding member of the Bar Association of Erie County and its Committee for the Disabled, Saran is immediate past president of the Western New York Chapter of the Women's Bar Association of the State of New York.

Her extensive community service revolves around issues of individuals with disabilities. Saran serves on the board of the Niagara Frontier Center for Independent Living, which recognized her with the Founders Award in 1996 and as Member of the Year in 2002. She also is a member of the Child and Family Support Council of the Mental Health Association of Erie County, from which she received the 2000 Volunteer Services Award. In 2002, she received the Friend of Gateway-Longview award for her behind-the-scenes assistance to the agency staff in advocating for the education needs of the agency's children and families.

Saran holds a bachelor's degree in psychology and the master of public health degree from the University of Rochester.

She lives in Williamsville.

"They are both highly experienced administrators. I feel fortunate to have them on my team of advisors," said Nils Olsen, dean of the UB Law School. "They greatly benefit the law school in many ways."

The only law school of the State University of New York, the UB Law School was founded in 1887. Combining legal theory with practical applications, the law school is characterized by an emphasis on interdisciplinary study and public service.