WT Announces New T. Boone Pickens Professorship of Economics

Sep 12, 2019

CONTACT: Dr. Neil Terry, 806-651-2526,

CANYON, Texas—Officials at West Texas A&M University (WT) are pleased to share the creation of a new professorship named the T. Boone Pickens Professor of Economics.

The professorship is established by friends of the Paul and Virginia Engler College of Business and the Paul & Virginia Engler Foundation in honor of efforts put forth to advance the Engler College of Business at WT by the late T. Boone Pickens.

"Mr. Pickens was one of the first business leaders that was willing to invest in the Engler College of Business and WT.  He created one of the first professorships at the University, and hundreds of students have benefited from the scholarship fund he established. We are grateful for his friendship, generosity, and the opportunity to be part of his legacy via the professorships and scholarships," Dr. Neil Terry, dean of the Engler College of Business, said. 

"T. Boone Pickens was a smart investor. He understood investing in higher education for kids from the Texas Panhandle, and we are thankful for that," John Sharp, chancellor of The Texas A&M University System, said.

Dr. Eric Hoffmann, assistant professor of economics, is the first to occupy the professorship position. Hoffmann earned his Ph.D. from the University of Kansas in 2015 before joining the WT faculty in 2016. His teaching areas include courses in industrial organization, quantitative analysis in business and economics, microeconomic theory, and macroeconomic theory.

Hoffmann’s publications during his tenure at WT include:

  • "Coordination and Learning in Games with Strategic Substitutes and Complements" published in Research in Economics.
  • "Equilibrium Existence in Global Games with General Payoff Structures" in Economic Theory Bulletin.
  • "Comparing Optimal Responses with Multi-Dimensional Action Spaces" in Journal of Mathematical Economics.
  • "Rationalizability and Learning in Games with Strategic Heterogeneity" published in Economic Theory.
  • "On the Learning and Stability of Mixed Strategy Nash Equilibria in Games of Strategic Substitutes" published in Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, and
  • "A Global Game with Strategic Substitutes and Complements" published in Games and Economic Behavior.

The Pickens Professorship in Economics is the third professorship in the Engler College of Business held in the name of Mr. Pickens.

The first two, Pickens Professorship of Business and the Pickens Professorship of Management, were created by Pickens for the purpose of stimulating academic excellence, enhancing creative thought and challenging business students at WT. Dr. Sean Humpherys is the current Pickens Professor of Business, and Dr. Jonathan Shaffer has held the Pickens Professor of Management since its establishment in 2010.

"Boone Pickens embodied J. A. Hill’s definition of a pioneer when he was president of the College in 1935. "The pioneer, wherever found, is self-reliant of necessity. Likewise, he was courageous because he was habitually meeting situations from which he cannot run away. He was tenacious and determined because it takes such qualities to rest victory from the forces which everywhere opposed him. He was resourceful because he was compelled to invent most of the means and instruments that he used in his daily work. The pioneer develops those fine qualities of life that make them stand out as a useful and constructive citizen," Walter V. Wendler, president of WT, said.

"Pickens had the wisdom, foresight and pioneering spirit to connect West Texas State University to a larger system of universities. He approached three different systems when he chaired the Board of Regents. The Texas A&M University System responded positively and forever changed the course of our University and the Texas Panhandle. For his leadership and vision, we are forever grateful."