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West Virginia University professor recognized with national award for distinguished teaching and service

Robert "Bob" Dailey, professor

A longtime West Virginia University professor who has dedicated more than 40 years of his career to teaching, research and service will be honored by the American Society of Animal Science.


Robert “Bob” Dailey, Davis-Michael Professor in the Division of Animal and Nutritional Sciences and coordinator of the Davis-Michael Scholars Program in the Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design, will be recognized as a Fellow of the American Society of Animal Science. The award recognizes those who have demonstrated distinguished service to animal science and the livestock industry over a long period of time. Dailey was nominated in the teaching category.


“Bob's mentoring has been invaluable to my career, and I hope that I have shared at least a small piece of that style of mentoring to my students and colleagues,” said Steve Washburn, professor emeritus of animal science at North Carolina State University, who nominated Dailey.


Washburn, who earned a bachelor’s in animal science from WVU in 1971, has known Dailey since 1972 – the year he started his graduate work at the University of Wisconsin, where Dailey was working and teaching as an advanced doctoral student.


After working as an Extension Agent in Dailey’s home county of Jefferson, Washburn later returned to WVU to complete his doctorate under the tutelage of Dailey, who had joined the faculty in 1977.


“Bob is usually very 'low key,' but invariably challenges both students and colleagues to question what they observe and to identify and understand underlying reasons for why a farmer might do something in a particular way,” Washburn said. “Such understanding is critical in order to provide meaningful suggestions for how a producer might use a different strategy to improve the herd or farm performance.”  


Brian Young, a 2018 graduate of the agricultural and extension education program, shared similar sentiments.


“Dr. Dailey is always looking for opportunities to challenge and push his students to stretch their limits, regardless of where that challenge may be,” Young said. “I have had the opportunity to travel the country to compete and network with industry leaders because he saw the significance it could have and was willing to help me make those connections.”  


Prior to joining WVU in 1977, Dailey completed postdoctoral work at Emory University. He received a bachelor’s in animal science from WVU in 1972, a master’s and a doctorate degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1969 and 1973, respectively, with two years of U.S. Army service between graduate degrees.


Dailey has taught several courses and received numerous awards recognizing his excellence in teaching, research and service, including being named a WVU Foundation Outstanding Teacher (1997) and a recipient of the WVU Gerry and Ethel Heebink Award for Distinguished State Service (2011).


Amid working as a reviewer for nine different scientific journals, authoring 111 research papers, obtaining numerous grants and coaching the WVU Dairy Judging Team, Dailey has advised hundreds of students at various degree levels.


“With an open door policy, he is never too busy to advise students on everything from classes to life, in general,” Young said. “I’ve seen students walk in his office in tears, ready to drop out, but leave encouraged and ready to keep going. He wasn't even my advisor, yet he still treated me as his own.


“He will never truly understand the impact he has had on my life since I have been in Morgantown, and because of that, my family thanks him.”


Dailey will be recognized during the ASAS Annual Meeting July 8-12 in Vancouver, Canada.




CONTACT: Nikky Luna; WVU Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design 304-293-2394;