ST. PAUL-A White Earth Nation judge will join the Minnesota State board of trustees.

Gov. Mark Dayton on Wednesday, Feb. 22, named George W. Soule to fill a vacancy on the board of what had been known as the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system.

"George Soule has had a very distinguished career bringing justice and opportunity to people throughout Minnesota," Dayton said. "I believe that Mr. Soule will bring this dedication to ensuring excellent higher education and career training opportunities for all students at Minnesota State."

He will take the place of former House Speaker Margaret Anderson Kelliher, whose term ends June 30, 2018. Anderson Kelliher resigned from the board last year.

Soule is an appeals court judge on the western Minnesota White Earth American Indian reservation. He is founding partner of the law firm Soule and Stull, where he is a civil trial attorney handling cases involving product liability, commercial and negligence claims.

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Soule earned his bachelor degree from Minnesota State University Moorhead and his law degree from Harvard Law School. He grew up in western Minnesota's Becker County, but now lives in the Twin Cities.

He is active in Indian issues, the Minnesota State University Moorhead Alumni Foundation, American College of Trial Lawyers, International Society of Barristers and American Board of Trial Advocates.

The Minnesota State Board of Trustees is a 15-member board that governs the Minnesota State system of two-year and four-year colleges and universities.