Byron W. Saunders joined the Faculty at Cornell in 1947 in the Sibley School of Mechanical Engineering. He served as Director of the newly reorganized School of Industrial Engineering and Operations Research, a position he held for ten years; and was Director of Continuing Education in the College of Engineering for three years.
As Dean of the University Faculty, Professor Saunders exhibited loyalty, integrity, and high moral and performance standards. His exhibited strong support for academic freedom during the so-called Ky incident in December 1975, when a speech by then Vice President Ky of South Vietnam was disrupted by those protesting his policies. Dean Saunders urged the Faculty to take a stand on the issue, stating in his annual report: “There can be no honest search for truth, no honest hearing of differing opinions and differing perceptions, if one allows the closing off of views, no matter how objectionable they might be or how objectionable the people who are voicing these views.”
Professor Saunders retired in 1979 and was named Professor Emeritus. He passed away on January 4, 1987.