Welcome to the Office of General Counsel website for Minnesota State. The purpose of this site is to provide information about legal services available to our colleges and universities, basic information on key legal topics, and links to system websites and other sources of legal and government information.

Legal services are provided to Minnesota State Colleges and Universities by the Minnesota Attorney General's Office (AGO) and the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities Office of General Counsel (OGC). Each system college and university is assigned an assistant attorney general to serve as general counsel, available to assist with all legal matters. In addition, the AGO provides specialty legal services to the system including employment law, contract, real estate, intellectual property, and finance issues.

The Office of General Counsel provides assistance to the system office as well as the system colleges and universities. The OGC focuses primarily on areas that present significant policy as well as legal issues, including governance, data practices, immigration, global study programs, copyright and other policy-related issues. The General Counsel coordinates the provision of Minnesota State Colleges and Universities legal services, including consultation on litigation, contracts and other legal issues of special significance to the system.

Campus representatives authorized by the president to obtain legal services may contact the AGO assigned attorney or the OGC staff for assistance or referral to specialized Attorney General staff. The full range of legal services is available, including litigation representation, legal advice, and assistance with contract, intellectual property, real estate or other transactions.

All Minnesota State Colleges and Universities legal services must be obtained through the AGO or OGC. In very limited circumstances, outside counsel may be appointed by the Attorney General to meet specialized system needs. Any college or university interested in specialized outside counsel for any purpose should direct an inquiry to the General Counsel.


Notice: The purpose of this site is to provide general information only, and nothing on this site should be construed as legal advice. The information provided on this site is not intended to alter or amend official MnSCU policy or procedure.

Links to other websites are provided as a courtesy. They are not intended to nor do they constitute an endorsement of the linked materials by Minnesota State Colleges and Universities.

Gary Cunningham PictureGary Cunningham

General Counsel joined the Office of General Counsel in 2014. Gary began serving as general counsel effective July 1, 2015.  Prior to joining Minnesota State in house, Gary represented Minnesota State Colleges and Universities in employment matters as an Assistant Attorney General for over 20 years. With respect to the Office of General Counsel, Gary has concentrated on employment issues and training. In addition to his employment law practice at the Attorney General’s Office, Gary was counsel to the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission and a consumer advocate.

Previously Gary was an attorney in private practice in Atlanta, Georgia and Chicago, Illinois. Gary received his B.S. in Mathematics from Purdue University and his J.D, from the University of Illinois, graduating magna cum laude.

balber

Mary Al Balber

Assistant General Counsel has an extensive background representing state, tribal and municipal governments.

Mary Al was  with the Minneapolis City Attorney's Office in the civil division where she advised city officials, departments, boards and commissions. She was also Solicitor General for the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe and a former Assistant General Counsel for the Prairie Island Dakota Indian Community.

In addition, she was an Assistant Attorney General in the Minnesota Attorney General's Office where she represented state agencies in construction, contract and environmental matters for more than six years. In her new position, Mary Al's primary focus is transactional matters including construction, contracts and intellectual property.

Mary Al received her J.D. from Hamline University School of Law, St. Paul, and her B.S. (Mass Communications) from Northern Michigan University, Marquette, Michigan.


Scott's Picture

Scott Goings

Scott Goings joined the General Counsel’s Office in 2008 after previously representing the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities as an Assistant Attorney General in the Minnesota Attorney General’s Office.  He has sixteen years of experience in higher education law with a focus on student affairs, athletics, litigation and litigation management and foundations. 

Scott previously practiced law with the Minneapolis firm of Leonard, Street and Deinard and clerked for the Honorable Harold D. Vietor, United States District Judge for the Southern District of Iowa.  He received his J.D. from the University of Iowa College of Law and his B.A. (Philosophy) from Grinnell College.  Scott is an adjunct faculty member in the Higher Education Administration doctoral program at St. Cloud State University.

Sarah McGeeSarah McGee

Assistant General Counsel joined the Office of General Counsel in December of 2012.  Sarah's focus is in intellectual property, information technology, and other areas.

Most recently, Sarah was an Assistant Attorney General in the Minnesota Attorney General's Office where she represented state agencies, including MnSCU, in tort, employment, and other matters for the past five years.  Sarah previously practiced in the areas of intellectual property, litigation, and employment law with the Minneapolis offices of Fulbright & Jaworski and Faegre Baker Daniels.

Sarah received her J.D. from the University of Colorado School of Law and her B.S. (Biology) from Brown University.

Daniel McCabe

Daniel McCabe, Assistant General Counsel, joined the Office of General Counsel in 2016.  He specializes in the areas of data practices, business transactions, international programs, immigration, FCC issues, and other areas.

Previously, Daniel was Associate General Counsel/Of Counsel at Howard University for almost eight years.  At Howard University, he specialized in university business transactions, intellectual property, technology transfer, commercial radio, public television, and several related areas.

Daniel received his J.D. from The American University Washington College of Law.  He received his B.A., summa cum laude, (History and English) from the State University of New York College at Oswego.

Heidi Slegers

Legal Analyst works with contracts, real estate transactions, intellectual property and copyright, data practices, and other areas.

A graduate of Minnesota State University, Moorhead with a Bachelor of Science degree in Legal Assistant, Heidi has paralegal experience in various legal areas for governmental agencies.

Amanda Bohnhoff

Legal Analyst

Liz Hegman

Legal Analyst


We are always looking for comments, suggestions and tips. If you have questions or comments, feel free to call 651-201-1676 or e-mail Amanda.Bohnhoff@minnstate.edu.

We recommend that you do not send private or confidential data about yourself or others via email. For more information, we encourage you to read our website privacy policy.

Attorney General Contact List

Education Division

Kathryn Woodruff, Assistant Attorney General
kathryn.woodruff@ag.state.mn.us
651-757-1361

Kevin Finnerty, Assistant Attorney General
kevin.finnerty@ag.state.mn.us
651-757-1058

Ian Welsh, Assistant Attorney General
ian.welsh@ag.state.mn.us
651-757-1018

Alec Sloan, Assistant Attorney General
alec.sloan@ag.state.mn.us
651-757-1022

Employment Law

Kathryn Fodness, Assistant Attorney General
kathryn.fodness@ag.state.mn.us
651-757-1348

Janine Kimble, Assistant Attorney General
janine.kimble@ag.state.mn.us
651-757-1415

Contracts

Adam Sorenson, Assistant Attorney General
J.Adam.Sorenson@ag.state.mn.us
651-757-1202

Gary Pihlstrom, Assistant Attorney General
gary.pihlstrom@ag.state.mn.us
651-757-1314

Intellectual Property

Adam Sorenson, Assistant Attorney General
j.adam.sorenson@ag.state.mn.us
651-757-1202

Bankruptcy

Mawerdi Hamid, Assistant Attorney General
mawerdi.hamid@ag.state.mn.us
651-757-1452

Real Estate

Kevin Rodlund, Assistant Attorney General
kevin.rodlund@ag.state.mn.us
651-757-1294

Construction Litigation

Joan Eichhorst, Assistant Attorney General
Joan.eichhorst@ag.state.mn.us
651-757-1438

Matt Ferche, Assistant Attorney General
matt.ferche@ag.state.mn.us
651-757-1457

College/University Attorny General Assignments

Alexandria Technical and Community College
Ian Welsh- 651-757-1018

Anoka Ramsey Community College
Kevin Finnerty- 651-757-1058

Anoka Technical College
Kevin Finnerty- 651-757-1058

Bemidji State University
Ian Welsh- 651-757-1018

Central Lakes College
Kathryn Woodruff- 651-757-1361

Century College
Kevin Finnerty- 651-757-1058

Dakota County Technical College
Kevin Finnerty- 651-757-1058

Fond du Lac Tribal & Community College
Kathryn Woodruff- 651-757-1361

Hennepin Technical College
Kevin Finnerty- 651-757-1058

Inver Hills Community College
Kevin Finnerty- 651-757-1058

Lake Superior College
Kathryn Woodruff- 651-757-1361

Mesabi Range Community & Technical College
Ian Welsh- 651-757-1018

Metropolitan State University
Ian Welsh- 651-757-1018

Minneapolis College
Kathryn Woodruff- 651-757-1361

Minnesota State College Southeast
Ian Welsh- 651-757-1018

Minnesota State Community and Technical College
Ian Welsh- 651-757-1018

Minnesota State University, Mankato
Kevin Finnerty- 651-757-1058

Minnesota State University Moorhead
Kathryn Woodruff- 651-757-1361

Minnesota West Community & Technical College
Kathryn Woodruff- 651-757-1361

Normandale Community College
Ian Welsh- 651-757-1018

North Hennepin Community College
Kevin Finnerty- 651-757-1058

Northeast Higher Education District (Hibbing, Itasca, Mesabi Range, Rainy River, & Vermilion Campuses)
Ian Welsh- 651-757-1018

Northland Community & Technical College
Kathryn Woodruff- 651-757-1361

Northwest Technical College
Kevin Finnerty- 651-757-1058

Pine Technical and Community College
Kathryn Woodruff- 651-757-1361

Ridgewater College
Kathryn Woodruff- 651-757-1361

Riverland Community College
Ian Welsh- 651-757-1018

Rochester Community & Technical College
Kathryn Woodruff- 651-757-1361

Saint Paul College
Kevin Finnerty- 651-757-1058

St. Cloud State University
Kevin Finnerty- 651-757-1058

St. Cloud Technical and Community College
Kevin Finnerty- 651-757-1058

South Central College
Kevin Finnerty- 651-757-1058

Southwest Minnesota State University
Kathryn Woodruff- 651-757-1361

Winona State University
Kathryn Woodruff- 651-757-1361