Members of the Minneapolis school board said they are concerned potential superintendent candidates will not apply for the job because there is an internal candidate who is serving as the interim district leader.

At a search committee meeting Tuesday, at least three board members said the district needs to prove it is serious about its search and not just giving the job to interim Superintendent Michael Goar.

“It needs to be very clear that we are engaged in a search,” said Board Member Tracine Asberry.

“We are serious about this.”

Asberry is concerned that there is no prominent mention on the district’s website noting the board is actively searching for a new superintendent.

By contrast, when Goar was named interim it was the first thing people saw when they came to the district’s site, she said.

Asberry told the board and district staff in the room that she wants the same treatment for information on the search.

Board Member Nelson Inz said he was concerned potential candidates were going to see media reports, including a recent feature article on Goar, and be discouraged to apply. Board chairwoman Jenny Arneson said the board cannot control the media. Board Member Rebecca Gagnon shot back by saying “but we can control our employee, or at least give advice.”

That starts, several board members said, with referring to Goar as interim superintendent. Several of the board members, staff and even Goar himself, have already dropped the term “interim.”

“Us saying interim vs. saying superintendent makes a huge difference,” Asberry said.