New York attorney Joseph Meng was named acting dean of the Antioch Law school yesterday in the wake of the firing over the weekend of the school's co-deans Edgar and Jean Cahn.

William B. Birenbaum, president of the 10-campus Antioch University, which is headquartered in Yellow Springs, Ohio, announced Meng's appointment at a meeting here interrupted by angry questions from students and faculty members of the law school.

The Cahns had been emboiled with the university in a dispute over the financial autonomy of the law school. After a D.C. Superior Court judge ruled Friday that the law school lacks authority to manage its operation, Birenbaum asked the Cahns to resign, and when they refused he fired them.

Meng, retiring president of the Culinary Institute of America, is a graduate of the Columbia University of California at Berkeley.

Birenbaum said a search committee will be formed to find a permanent replacement for the Cahns. He also said the law school's board of governors has been prohibited from taking any action except those involving fund raising. John Cominsky, chairman of the board, has been asked to resign, Birenbaum said.

Attempts to reach Meng and Cominsky for comment were unsuccessful. The Cahns said they would fight their dismissal and said a legal defense fund is being established for them.