Educational land shall be offered for sale at public auction by a representative of the Board of Educational Lands and Funds and sold at not less than the appraised value to the highest bidder. Notice of such sale and the time and place where the same will be held shall be given by publication three consecutive weeks in some legal newspaper published in the county where the tracts of land or the lots are located or, in case no legal newspaper is published in the county, then in some legal newspaper of general circulation therein. The proof of such publication shall be made by the affidavit of the publisher or principal clerk of such newspaper or by some other person knowing about the same and shall be filed in the office of the board. When the land consists of an undivided interest in realty, an action to partition may be maintained in the same manner as provided by law for the partition of real property among several joint owners. All notices of sale shall be posted in the office of the board. The board may arrange for such commercial advertising of land sales as it deems in the best interest of the state.
Any person or entity requesting that a tract of land be sold at public auction shall file an agreement with the board to pay the appraised value or a higher value as a minimum opening bid for the land. Within sixty days after receipt by the board of the request, the board shall determine whether or not to offer the tract of land for sale at public auction with a minimum opening bid equal to that amount stated in the accepted agreement for the minimum opening bid and shall notify the person or entity requesting the auction of the board's determination prior to advertising the tract of land for sale. If the board determines to offer the tract of land for sale at public auction, the auction shall be held within one hundred twenty days after the board accepts the agreement for a minimum opening bid. If the board determines not to offer the tract of land for sale, the offering price and legal description of the tract of land shall be included in the annual report to the Legislature.
The sale shall be subject to confirmation by the board that the requirements of this section have been met. Settlement shall be made by paying cash of not less than twenty percent of the purchase price at the time of sale, and the balance shall be payable in cash within ninety days after the date of sale. If the person submitting the high bid for the land fails to pay the balance of the purchase price and complete the sale within ninety days, his or her rights under the sale, including the twenty percent downpayment, shall be forfeited by the board and a new sale shall be authorized.