JACKSON, Miss. — A senator says Mississippi could better compete for professors if the state did not limit university contracts to four years at a time.

Republican Sen. Terry Burton says many other states don’t have the four-year limit that is in the Mississippi Constitution .

On a split vote Monday, senators adopted Senate Concurrent Resolution 547 , which would erase the limit. The proposal was held for the possibility of more debate, and it must also go to the House. If both chambers agree, the proposed constitutional amendment would go on a statewide ballot.

Democratic Sen. David Blount of Jackson says College Board officials oppose the change because they don’t want the possibility of having to buy out lengthy contracts.

University employees can work longer than four years, but contracts must be renewed.