WT Diversity Series to Conclude with Discussion on the Effects of Information Failure

Chip Chandler Apr 21, 2021
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WT Diversity Series to Conclude with Discussion on the Effects of Information Failure

Copy by Chip Chandler, 806-651-2124,



CANYON, Texas — A West Texas A&M University economics professor will address the consequences of information asymmetry in the last of a spring series of discussions on diversity.

Dr. John Francois, the Donald W. Hodges Professor of Business in WT’s Paul and Virginia Engler College of Business, will present “Diversity and Reducing Information Asymmetry in Academic Success” at 12:30 p.m. April 27 in the Student Senate Chamber in the Jack B. Kelley Student Center and on Zoom. The speech is part of WT’s Office for Diversity and Inclusion’s We Are One Talks.

“Students come into college with different backgrounds, such as different income groups, expectations, disabilities, race and gender, to mention a few,” Francois explained. “Consequently, they may have varying sets of information on what academic success means.

“Information asymmetry can also be thought of as information failure,” he continued. “For instance, individuals from low-income families are likely to be the first in their families to get into college. They are likely to arrive with limited idea of what college and real academic success entails compared to another individual from a high-income family who has several family members who hold an undergrad degree or higher. While these two individuals may be in the same college and even may be pursuing the same degree, one is equipped with enough information to make the best career decisions while the other is not.”

Francois said his presentation will discuss ways to reduce the information gaps, including tips for both instructors and students.

“We need to occasionally spend time to know our students and their backgrounds, share relevant and precise information with them that they will otherwise not know,” Francois said. “I hope that after the presentation, students learn that they must do more than take classes and graduate but also build networks with professors and their diverse group of friends, and, importantly, start thinking of what is academic success is immediately they get into college.”

The discussion is free and open to the public.

The We Are One talks are in line with the University’s mission of creating a diverse and inclusive student body, as outlined in WT’s long-term plan, WT 125: From the Panhandle to the World.


About West Texas A&M University

WT is located in Canyon, Texas, on a 342-acre residential campus. Established in 1910, the University has been part of The Texas A&M University System since 1990. With enrollment of more than 10,000, WT offers 60 undergraduate degree programs, 40 master’s degrees and two doctoral degrees. The University is also home to the Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum, the largest history museum in the state and the home of one of the Southwest’s finest art collections. The Buffaloes are a member of the NCAA Division II Lone Star Conference and offers 15 men’s and women’s athletics programs.