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College of Idaho’s Robert Dayley named Idaho Professor of the Year

College of Idaho professor Robert Dayley is the winner of the 2011 Idaho Professor of the Year award, announced Nov. 17 by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. Dayley, who teaches political economy and specializes in Asian studies, is the fourth C of I professor in six years to receive the award, which recognizes the state’s top educator based on scholarly achievement, innovative teaching, community and professional service, and recommendations from colleagues, alumni and students.

“It’s very humbling,” Dayley said. “It’s a real honor. I consider myself a very typical teacher at The College of Idaho, so I think the award really speaks to the quality of instruction we have here.”

Dayley is in his 11th year at C of I and is one of the primary architects of the College’s innovative PEAK curriculum, launched in 2010. He teaches international political economy classes and topics courses about a variety of Asian nations. He also advises the College’s award-winning Model United Nations team as well as international students in the Davis United World College Scholars program. Dayley’s primary area of expertise is Southeast Asia – he co-authors a highly praised college text on the region. Twice a recipient of Fulbright grants to Thailand, Dayley took four C of I students to study the Thai tangerine industry this past summer thanks to an ASIANetwork Freeman Student-Faculty Research Grant. A video documenting the group’s findings is available on the C of I YouTube channel.

“I enjoy the relationship I get to have with my students,” Dayley said. “My job is to read books and talk about them with young people. I get to take my students with me to Asia and show them globalization in action. Helping students discover new interests is exciting and satisfying…I can’t believe I get paid to do this.”

In addition to being highly regarded as a teacher, Dayley helped shape the C of I’s PEAK curriculum, which enables students to graduate with a major and three minors in four years. Those majors and minors span the four knowledge “peaks” of the humanities and fine arts, social sciences and history, natural sciences and mathematics, and professional studies and enhancements.

“Professor Dayley is a very worthy Idaho Professor of the Year,” said C of I President Marv Henberg. “His dedication to preparing students, his innovation in the classroom and his role in bringing to life our distinctive PEAK curriculum show how much he cares about his students and the quality of the education they receive at The College of Idaho.” 

C of I professors Rochelle Johnson (2010), Kerry Hunter (2008) and Jim Angresano (2006) also have received the Idaho Professor of the Year Award in recent years. Dayley and the 2011 winners from each of the other 49 states will be recognized at an awards ceremony this weekend in Washington D.C.

Founded in 1891, The College of Idaho is the state’s oldest private liberal arts college. It has a century-old tradition of educating some of the most accomplished graduates in Idaho, including six Rhodes Scholars, three Marshall Scholars, and another ten Truman and Goldwater Scholars. The College is located on a beautiful campus in Caldwell, Idaho. Its distinctive PEAK curriculum challenges students to attain competencies in the four knowledge peaks of the humanities, natural sciences, social sciences and a professional field, enabling them to graduate with an academic major and three minors in four years. For more information on The College of Idaho, visit