LA Class Newsletter [#31]

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My Notes:

This newsletter contains a summary of the presentation of Dr. Daniel Jordan on ANISA – a framework for education. Unfortunately, Dr. Jordan’s life was cut short by murder approximately four years from this LA class presentation; which left ANISA without a champion.

ANISA sounds very promising and it is most tragic that its founders’ life was so untimely cut. Who knows what it may have flowered into had it been given a chance? Searching on the internet, there are a few people (no doubt associates and partners of Dr. Jordan) who are continuing to work along similar lines. If you wish to learn more about Dr. Daniel C. Jordan, here is a biography written 10 years after his death.

It also bears highlighting that Dr. Jordan was inspired by Baha’i principles and values but that the framework that he developed was based not truly based on them. This is a limiting factor that I’ve seen in Baha’is of all fields – they automatically assume that the Baha’i Faith contains the answer for their field… be it agriculture, biology, commerce, etc…

The Faith is beautiful but it isn’t everything. Baha’i specialists may start with the Writings but to corral oneself inside them and insist that nothing else outside is of value is devastating. Sadly I’ve seen many Baha’is take this approach and their projects suffer for it. The Baha’i Faith can’t be wrangled and coerced to give answers to everything under the sun. Do you really think that God would make things as simple as that?

Or provide some sort of infallible oracle to which one can put all questions for the final answer?

Finally Dr. Jordan’s comment on Baha’i pioneers is interesting. His prediction hasn’t become reality but it is true that people are skeptical if all you offer is to preach. They’ve had enough of that. Especially in poverty stricken countries. What they need are real answers and solutions which are borne out of the seed of Faith that pioneers take with them.

If this is your first newsletter, you might also want to read the introduction to the LA study class, here.

On with the 70′s class . . .

[START DOCUMENT]

[Ed. personal address]
Hermosa Beach, California 90254
October, 1978
Volume III, No. 9

Most of us went to school under an educational system that functioned as a kind of crude computer theory. Students, like machines, it was believed, could be programmed with knowledge by stuffing their heads full of facts — the multiplication tables, important dates in history, the parts of speech, etc. This approach to leaning is based on the notion that students are empty vessels, in school to be filled with a universe of knowledge. It has always found greater acceptance among educators than educatees.

But suppose that someone developed a theory of education that was less concerned with instilling some state-approved curriculum into the heads of pupils; but was more attuned to the development of the students’ inherent potential? In fact, such an event has already taken place and, at the September meeting of our study class, some 50 people crowded into the home of Sid and Karan Morrison to hear about it.

The speaker was Dr. Daniel Jordan, chair of the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha’is of the United States, discussing ANISA, a unique educational program he has developed over the last 18 years. In a lecture lasting more than two hours and representing â€?only the tip of the iceberg,â€? as Jordan termed it, he outlined what the program is and how it works. Here is a summary of his talk:

The ANISA project recently has moved to the West Coast and is now centered in Escondido, California, a city about 100 miles south of Los Angeles. ANISA was refined at the University of Massachusetts but, after a ten-year association with that institution, the program had to decamp. Its departure was occasioned partly because of a $700 million state budget deficit which threatened to end the project’s funding and partly because of a restructuring of the university’s academic hierarchy which forecast a limited future for the experimental model.

Jordan, the founder and program head, decided to take ANISA out of the public sector, and put it under the sponsorship of a private university — an educational institution he founded. The decision to end ANISA’s association with recognized educational establishments was not an easy one to make. When it became apparent that the program at U. Mass. faced diminishing odds, some 27 colleges and universities were sounded out about giving it a home. There was some interest, but as Jordan recalled, “Their first questions were not about the quality of the ideas but were on political issues and money.”

That was not the only problem. In a couple of cases, university officials showed interest in the ANISA program and called back to
U. Mass. for references. They were told that ANISA was a Baha’i front organization for religious proselytizing. Interest waned after such misinformation was given them, despite ANISA denials.

There is considerable confusion, especially in the minds of Baha’is, about the nature of the ANISA program. Although ANISA draws some of its inspiration from the Baha’i Writings (and less than many Baha’is believe), it is not a “Baha’i educational system”. However, Anisa is an Arabic term meaning â€?the tree of lifeâ€? and, in a Baha’i context, has been identified by Abdu’l-Baha as symbolizing the Baha’i Covenant. In the early days of the program, the word ANISA was used as an acronym for “American National Institute for Social Advancement”. This usage seems to have been discarded now.) In the Baha’i Writings, a great emphasis is place on education, the purpose of which is to develop latent human potentials, according to Baha’u’llah. However, Baha’u’llah never specified what would constitute a proper education and Shoghi Effendi wrote that future scholars would have to figure out what such an education would entail.

When ANISA was moved to the West Coast, Jordan took over a financially ailing institution called California American University and started a Master of Science program in education at the new school. It is here that the experiment resumes.

ANISA came into being during the early 1960’ s when Jordan began wondering why the educational system all but ignored the exploration of how humans develop and learn. While new discoveries generally take about three years to penetrate the scientific community, in education, 50 years can pass before any innovative thinking makes its influence felt in the classroom. Learning in America and elsewhere has concentrated on the development of curriculum, excluding much consideration about the person to be educated. There is no fundamental statement about the nature of man [and] the direction of his development through education.

ANISA is one approach to such a system, and one that attempts to create an educational system based on spiritual, and scientific values. The initial work for creating such a system began with a survey of the Baha’ i Writings regarding learning, but that was not satisfactory, for there still was not enough there on which to base an educational system. The groundwork made progress when a survey of the writings of Alfred North Whitehead, and English philosopher, turned up his observation that the success of any unified system requires a basic principle around which everything else is organized. That discovery led ANISA researchers to ask themselves what the first principle of education is. Queries to professors of education did not help much, for none of them knew what such a first principle might be and a few dismissed the importance of even having such a basic statement.

The search for a first principle led to a survey of the educational literature of the twentieth century and a tabulation of statements about the nature of man. But the search kept returning to Whitehead’s writings and his musings on the nature of the Universe. Whitehead observed that when one sees the universe, what one sees is change. Change is process and it presupposes potentiality. Translating potential into actuality is creativity, the philosopher wrote. Based on this notion, the ANISA founders decided that the purpose of their system would be to translate a child’s potential into actuality. That became the organizing principle.

Ironically, for a system that is designed to develop a child’s potential, ANISA has never commanded enough money to run its own school. It has, for the most part, concentrated on training teachers. As Jordan explained it, what a teacher believes about a child influence how the teacher will instruct and the child will learn. “If you think that kids are mean little monsters, then you will relate to them in that way and on that basis, and help create a self-fulfilling prophecy Therefore, ANISA programs have concentrated on teaching teachers not reduce the ability of students to absorb education by patronizing or humiliating the children.

Over the eighteen years of its existence. ANISA has refined a philosophical statement that is expressed through its theory of development. Since development is the realization of inner potential, ANISA programs, in part, focus on problems of development. It was discovered, for example, that development was brought about through interaction with the environment. Therefore, from the ANISA point of view, teaching means arranging the environment so as to foster the development of the child’s potential. Two factors were revealed to come into play here: biological and psychological.

After examining the matter, ANISA researchers came to the conclusion that the basis of biological development is nutrition. As Jordan put it “A significant percentage of the world’s children are mentally deficient — simply because of inadequate diet.” ANISA spent $1.5 million in grant funds on this aspect of education alone, field testing the nutrition theory over a five-year period and proving a link between proper diet and the ability to pay attention to what the teacher is saying. “Poor nutrition leads to limited attention and limited learning,” Jordan said, adding, “We find a large number of kids with learning deficiencies that are nutritionally related. Under the ANISA system, even teachers have to understand the importance of proper diet for themselves. “Being with kids is stressful, in case you haven’ t noticed,” Jordan quipped.

Tuning to the psychological aspects of development potential, the ANISA model divides these into five categories: psychomotor, perceptual, cognitive. affective and volition.

PSYCHOMOTOR development was defined as the capacity to differentiate between body muscles and control them. The point here is that gaining psychomotor control of one’s body increases one’s potential and leads to success in other learning areas. A child who is not confident about using his body will shy away from new learning environments out of fear and will limit his own growth.

PERCEPTION relates to the ability to take in visual information and make sense out of it. This ability varies from child to child and must be developed for the student to gain better advantage of the learning process.

COGNITIVE development has to do with thinking, which everyone agrees is important, but no one can define with precision. ANISA has a cognitive competence curriculum that focuses on teaching a child how to think. Most schools concentrate on teaching children what to think but not necessarily how to think or use critical judgment.

AFFECTIVE deals with learning and organizing emotion, one of the most powerful and least understood influences on human behavior. Jordan noted that people are seldom in charge of their emotions, and it is feeling, more than abstract thinking, that influence human behavior. Under the ANISA model, emotions are placed in two categories: those which relate to hope and enhance development and those that have their basis in fear and impair development.

VOLITION (Will): relates how to pay attention, a subject that is never taught in schools. Young students are required to hold their minds on a particular subject, but never taught how to do so. Volition training centers on the ability to set goals and create steps to accomplish those goals.

During the question period, Jordan was asked whether ANISA had ever attempted to prove its theories through field experience. He responded that ANISA had been field tested, for five years, but that, there had never been enough money to found an ANISA school to verify the system’s fundamental ideas. One overall test was conducted in Springfield Mass. school system where an ANISA program was temporarily installed. Jordan said that data collected found reading scores were significantly higher for the ANISA-trained students than a non-ANISA control group. He also appeared to reject the notion of strict scientific proof, at least in part. The rigid and narrow criteria demanded for accurate field testing have only limited meaning in proving our ANISA, he said, because such variables as personal belief simply defy measurement. Even the ANISA modal rests on the recognition that a child has some control over his own development. There is no way one can predict with 100% accuracy what humans will do; they are just too complex to be measured with reliable accuracy.

Along the way, Dr. Jordan mode one interesting digression in which he touched on the future of Baha’ i pioneering. The influence of the Faith is not spreading through its assimilation in the American population. He noted, for example, that the birthrate in the United States is about 10,000 babies born every day “and our enrollment isn’t even close to that.” But, bypassing American society, the Baha’i Faith could make significant inroads in the world’s social agencies, a more important target group. This could come to pass by training Baha’is in any of a variety of occupational skills, such as agronomy, land reclamation, and the like. These are skills essential to developing nations. As the world’s political situation hardens, it is less and less likely that Baha’is will gain admission to Third World countries if their approach is purely as religious missionaries. But, if they can offer the technical skills that match their religious dedication, they can have a potent influence on the course of events in such nations.

Dr. Jordan was asked about the likelihood of having the ANISA model adopted by some major school district. He said that he hoped that would happen, but that the ANISA program would not compromise its principles for the sake of being so adopted. He related his presentation of ANISA to the chiefs of the Navaho Reservation. Some of the traditional old men asked if a child, having gone through the ANISA system would still participate in rain dances with his tribe. Jordan replied carefully that the ANISA child might dance for reasons of social solidarity, but would not believe that the dance would bring rain. The chiefs were not happy with his answer.

One class member remarked that if ANISA intends to socialize children into a full, new cosmology, it is unlikely that it will find acceptance by any society, since they will quite naturally want to protect, their own cultural values.

POSTSCRIPT DEPARTMENT…

Betty Conow of Hacienda Heights sent us a letter to clear up some points Which she feels were incorrectly summarized in the previous newsletter and not presented in the way she would have done. Regarding the newsletter report on Wittgenstein’s paradox, she wrote that the view presented in the notes was not what she presented in the class: “Your view is from his â€?Tractatus’ a philosophical stand he completely reversed later.” {Actually, the newsletter summary of “Wittgenstein’s paradox” was culled from notes taken when a college philosophy instructor was contacted for an explanation of the term.} To resume from her letter: “His paradox is quite of a different order. In his first view, he distinguished between mind and matter (objects in the world) and said language merely labels object, etc., in the manner of the logical positivists. This view still admits to the reality of both subjective and objective principles. Later, in â€?Philosophical Investigationsâ€? and his lectures, he essentially denies that mind and matter exist at all, except as words we invent to give order to things. He says that language creates reality God, Mind, etc. are all part of our language games. If enough people agree on what a word means and agree as to how the word should be used, then order is created. That is the Wittgenstein dilemma — all philosophy, religion, mysticism, then are simply games we play within a context we all agree to abide by
the rules. I am not an expert on Wittgenstein; I am only interested in creating a framework of intelligibility that destroys his paradox. His own argument is of course, based upon just another language game itself.”

Continuing she wrote, “I’m not say that â€?God exists within the cosmos as a Creative Force’ to imply that God apportioned a part of Himself as a Force with discernible properties. What I talked about was the important distinction between creation as emanation rather than as manifestation and is the crucial point of argument between Baha’i and those religions which are pantheistic. I remember speaking to that point extensively.

“I never did explain the smaller separate chart that appeared on the handout. It should have been framed or blocked to show that it was not a part of the larger chart. However, it portrays as a symbol what the other chart portrays in words. ‘Reality of realities’ signifies all that is fundamental or all that which underlies all reality. Sometimes Abdu’l-baha uses this phrase to mean this and sometimes He uses it to mean God. There is no cut and dried definition for it — if there were any further meditation upon this idea would effectively be cut off.

“The smaller chart shows Reality as One, portrayed by a Sphere. In the material world of relativities we all look at Reality and see it, not as One but as separate ‘points,’ dissimilar aspects of one thing. The popular Sufi fable of the blind men feeling the elephant, all touching different parts of it, and so all supposing only â€?his’ sensory experience is correctly describing the elephant, and getting into endless arguments about it. That is what the smaller chart was supposed to convey, although no one even asked me what it meant…

“It is right that I didn’t want to use the intellectual tools that most of us apply to solve all problems. To do so means we have not escaped Wittgenstein’s paradox — that we will only end up talking about definitions of words and not best to use them. It was the very problem I set out to answer a different way, using different tools…”

NEXT CLASS:

The next class will be held on October 29th on a Sunday afternoon at 3:00 P.M. at the home Mehrdad Amanat. His address is [Ed. personal address follows]. At this class Tony Lee will present his resent trip to England where he attended a Seminar on Baha’i Studies held at Cambridge University. He will speak on some of the issues that were raised at that seminar and some of the controversies which were left unresolved. You all be there, y’heah!

[END DOCUMENT]

Related Links:

The original scanned documents can be found here.

  • Lost and looking

    I am interested in talking to anyone whom can shed some light on the murder of Daniel C. Jordan. Not because of the Bahai Faith, but because he was my Great Uncle.

    I remember him only once in my lifetime coming home to Alliance, NE for a family reunion when I was about five or six years of age. He played the piano and sang for the whole family.

  • http://www.sonjavank.blogspot.com sonjavank

    Thanks for your question, as it has enabled me to find out more about who Daniel C. Jordan was and more about his death in 1982. When I first heard of it, our local Bahai community in New Zealand was in shock. All we heard was that his body was found unclothed and in a dumpster.

    There were and perhaps still are rumours that are circulated on the internet about the cause or context of this murder, and because it is still unknown or unresolved, those rumours will most likely continue. Information such about whether he was drugged or if there were bruises to suggest a struggle and such like, is held by the FBI. Perhaps as a family member you might be able to get access to this? Someone has suggested that a Freedom of Information Act request to get the FBI file on this case.

    The facts, as much as seems clear:
    He was last seen at La Guardia airport and when he did not turn up for some appointments the following day, people began to worry and make phone calls. He was scheduled to speak at an educational conference and then at the NY Baha’i Center. His body was found 4 days later in Stamford, Connecticut. He died from what seems clearly to have been a professional attack and his body had been scrubbed clean.

    This is what a friend told me: “Because Dan was a friend and I was a reporter, I did do some investigation into Dan’s murder, both at the time and later. I interviewed the police chief and the coroner of Stamford, Connecticut, where Dan’s body was found, and also spoke to two FBI agents assigned to the case (among the fifty-some agents who worked on it). All of them spoke to me off the record except the coroner.
    Of course the murder has never been solved. There were no suspects arrested or even interrogated, as far as I know. Dan was killed with a single stab wound from a thin, sharp instrument – probably an ice pick – inserted into the occipital region of his brain from behind his right ear. His body – unclothed and completely and thoroughly washed – was found in a dumpster in an industrial park in Stamford approximately 24 hours post-mortem. The lack of physical clues and any other injuries made further investigation extremely difficult.

    Two FBI agents I interviewed suspected ( – and this is only their speculation – that Dan was seen at the time as not only a Baha’i leader but also a prominent American educator) that Dan had been abducted by Iranians who tortured and killed him, then wrote messages on his body, photographed it, and used those photographs to terrorize others, especially the Baha’i community in Iran. The files of the Persian Affairs Department of the US NSA include several such photographs that I have personally seen – not of Dan’s body, but of Iranian Baha’is who were executed and then used as �corpse billboards� with intimidating messages written on them. This was evidently a common practice of Iran’s state security apparatus during the early Khomeini years.
    The FBI agents I spoke to reached their conclusions with three strong suppositions – that Dan’s execution was professional, not the work of an amateur; that the body was scrubbed and washed very thoroughly; and that no physical evidence was ever found. Those three things led them to the conclusion that this was not a crime of passion or convenience. The coroner I interviewed strongly agreed with the that theory of the case. He told me �This was a professional execution – it takes training and very specific anatomical and neurological knowledge to kill a person in this way, and I have seen other cases like it that were later proven to be done by professional killers. No amateur could ever do this with one stab wound.�
    That’s what I know in brief. I’d be happy to speak to anyone who is interested.

    (Contact Sonja who will forward your email address)

    I definitely don’t know what happened to Dan, and neither does anyone else except the person or people who murdered him. So I don’t want to come down on the side of one theory or another, especially since they are only theories. But I still think, from my long discussions with the investigating authorities, that there is some very significant basis in fact for suspecting Dan’s murder was professional. The actual physical evidence, especially the disposition and treatment of the body and the single stab wound itself, are all we will likely ever have to go on – and I strongly believe that those two facts both suggest something more than a random murder or crime of passion.”

    Another friend wrote: “Thank you all for this, it is most enlightening. As a gay man, this is most interesting. This topic comes up from time to time on other blogs / discussions… and is a cause for much misinformation and heresay. My heart goes out to any closeted LGBT person in the Faith, it is a terrible thing – for the individual or the families envolved, whether or whether it this is the case here. I appreciate how you have shown that it was probably not â€?homosexualsâ€? that were responsible… alas, they haven’t done much to a lay that rumor however. I am sorry to say that crimes of passion leave much more of a mark… His death is so very sad, gay or not gay…”

    In the early 80s, when the gay community, was more closeted than it is today, such a bizzare murder was an easy target to blame on this community. It is clear that the murder was professionaly executed but there is no evidence to suggest why or who. There are no known murders by the Iranian secret service in the U.S. There is also the time between his being last seen and his body being found 4 days later, and it is likely that he was held captive because he would not have missed his speaking engagements otherwise.

    And finally:
    “Dan Jordan was one of the true inspirations of my young Baha’i life – a happy, progressive, music-loving, outspoken, visionary, deeply intelligent human being who was probably a genius at many different things including education. He was a role model for me in so many ways that I’ve lost count. His sensitivity and his understanding of others, his listening skills, his enormous command of language and of theology, his articulateness and his tremendous warmth lead but by no means exhaust the list.
    He taught me what a thinking Baha’i could be. There are literally dozens if not hundreds of Baha’i children named Anisa, and every time I meet one I can’t help but smile at Dan’s memory and the impact he had. I miss him. Here’s a fairly detailed remembrance of him from a family member (who isn’t a Baha’i) that I think is pretty illuminating: http://teach. valdosta.edu/anisa/jordan_bio.html “

  • Barb Ruth-Wright

    Hi Sonja -

    A curious discrepancy – the information I have, which includes a New York Times news article dated October 21, 1982 (which was a Thursday), indicates that Jordan's body was found on Saturday morning (the day after he arrived at the airport in New York), but was not identified until the following Wednesday, four days later (with the help of the Missing Persons Bureau of New York City police), presumably because it was found in Stamford, and there was no ID on the body. This news article also reports that D.J. was stabbed with a sword, severing his spinal column, according to a Federal source close to the investigation, and that his trip (according to Dr. Firuz Kazemzadeh – then secretary of U.S. NSA), had no connection to the Baha'i Faith and that D.J. to his knowledge had contacted no one from the Faith on his trip to New York. Jordan had, according to the article, been scheduled to speak to the Association for the World's Universities at the New York University Club on West 43rd Street Saturday morning, and soon after his arrival in N.Y. on Friday called them to say that he was staying with friends.

    Barb

  • http://www.sonjavank.blogspot.com sonjavank

    Thanks for your query on this:

    Two NY Times news articles (21 oct and 22 oct 1982) are in full at the bottom of this.

    I was told:

    The weapon
    “Yes, the New York Times did report the â€?stabbed to death with a swordâ€? line in their initial article, and then corrected it with a quote from a police source in subsequent articles (their second article posted below). I asked the coroner about that line when I spoke to him, and he dismissed it as a reporter who didn’t know what he was talking about. But I suspect, since Ed Gargan from the Times was the reporter and a veteran police beat journalist, that the â€?federalâ€? source for the article may have intentionally given Ed this somewhat misleading description, as police sources often do, to retain certain facts known only to the investigating agencies and the prosecution.â€?

    The Bahai connection
    “As you’ll see in the (22 Oct) article (which further down does give out a little more detail about the stab wound), Firuz is quoted. He downplays the purpose of Dan’s trip, saying that it didn’t involve his duties â€?with Baha’iâ€?; which I suspect meant with the NSA. You can also see clearly here the NSA’s deep concern that Dan’s murder would be blamed on the IRI government or on Iranian terrorists, and then backfire on the Baha’is in Iran as a result. During this period, the central and even overriding preoccupation of the Baha’i administration was protecting the Iranian Baha’is from harm, or from any action on the part of the American Baha’is that could conceivably cause a backlash that would lead to the IRI cracking down even further on the Iranian Baha’i Community.â€?

    “It is true that Dan did not contact the Baha'is. He had called the university people to say that he would be staying with friends and would see them in the morning. But he probably intended to see the Baha'is as well, and may have been scheduled to speak at the Baha'i Center. That would not be surprising, but rather quite normal. I am also not surprised to see that Firuz would say that his trip did not have any connection to the Faith, which, I suppose, technically it didn't.”

    Timing of death
    “If you read the two NY Times articles carefully, you can see that the Coroner suggested that Dan had been dead approximately 18 hours when they found the body.

    Dan arrived at La Guardia in New York on Friday. I don’t know the actual time of his arrival. His body was found in Stamford at approximately 11 am the next day, according to the NYT, about 24 hours after he had arrived. (That’s why I had remembered the 24-hour figure, when apparently it was closer to 18.)

    The police source quoted in the article said that he had probably been dead since late Friday or early Saturday, which conflicts somewhat with the Coroner’s report, but there you go. (You’ll notice in the second article that the reporter quotes Judge �Daniel’ Nelson from the NSA – when he obviously meant James – so all newspapers, even the Grey Lady, get it wrong fairly often….)�

    “Yes, the newspaper article is correct. The body was not identified for a few days because it had been dumped out of state with no way to tell who it was. The only reason that it was ever identified is because the Baha'is at United Press International (who owned it in those days) had access to all of the photos of unidentified bodies in the region from police reports. They went through the photos painstakingly until they saw Dan Jordan. Very traumatic.”

    [UPI information: E.W. Scripps Company celebrated UPI's diamond anniversary in 1982 by selling the news service to Media News Corporation, a new company formed by four Baha’i investors who owned U.S. newspaper, cable, and television stations. Scripps received $1 from the new owners and agreed to spend a further $5 million to support the service during the transition. At the time of its sale UPI was serving more than 7,500 newspapers, as well as radio, television, and cable systems in more than 100 countries. Its 2,000 full-time employees in 224 news and picture bureaus sent some 13 million words of news and other information out each day. More than 550 cable systems subscribed to UPI Cable Newswire, making UPI the largest provider of written news for cable television screens.

    Revenues for UPI reached $110 million in 1982, but it was operating with a $4 million loss. Much of this was caused by huge telephone bills: $14 million a year in the United States and $30 million worldwide. Media News determined it could save as much as $7 million by using satellites rather than telephone lines to send its articles and pictures. The new owners announced they would spend $20 million to improve communications and to beef up state and regional news coverage. They also planned to study the pricing of the news service. Unfortunately, their efforts failed. In April 1985 UPI declared bankruptcy and filed for Chapter 11 protection from its creditors. Employee layoffs began as the company reported $40.2 million in debt and about $24 million in assets.]

    –Two newspaper reports–

    VICTIM IN STAMFORD MURDER IDENTIFIED AS MISSING DEAN
    By EDWARD A. GARGAN

    Published: October 21, 1982

    A body found Saturday morning in a parking lot in Stamford, Conn., was identified last night as a dean from a California university who had been missing since he arrived in New York City Friday night, the police said.

    The dean, Dr. Daniel Jordan of the School of Education at National University in San Diego, had been stabbed to death with a sword, according to a Federal source close to the investigation, and was identified by his wife, who had flown in from the couple's home in Escondido, Calif., Sunday night after her husband was reported missing. The Federal Bureau of Investigation has formally entered the case.

    Dr. Jordan's body was found at about 11 A.M. Saturday face down at the rear of a parking lot in a commercial area of Stamford, according to Lieut. Joseph Falzetti of the Stamford police. He had been stabbed in the neck and his spinal column had been severed.

    The dean arrived at La Guardia Airport from Minneapolis and was scheduled to speak to the Association for the World's Universities at the New York University Club on West 43d Street the following morning, according to Lieutenant Falzetti. Soon after his arrival Friday night, Dr. Jordan called the organization and said he was staying with friends, Lieutenant Falzetti said. Body Identified by Wife

    Nothing was heard from him after that. On Sunday, Dr. Jordan's wife, Nancy, and a professor from National University, Dr. Donald Street, arrived in New York to assist the police.

    Then yesterday, with the help of the Missing Persons Bureau of the New York City police, Mrs. Jordan was sent to Stamford where she identified her husband's body at about 5:30 P.M., according to George Mayer, deputy police chief of Stamford.

    ''Dr. Jordan's death resulted from a single stab wound in the neck,'' Lieutenant Falzetti said. ''He could have been killed late Friday or early Saturday.''

    The Stamford police refused to discuss whether Dr. Jordan had any reason to be in the city. Dr. Jordan, a Rhodes scholar who received his doctorate from the University of Chicago, was appointed dean three years ago. He was known for his work with the Anisa process, which stresses a ''holistic approach to education,'' according to the university's president, Dr. David Chigos.

    “It's an enormous loss to the university,” said Dr. Chigos. “He was probably the most competent educator in my 30 years in education. He had this enormous capacity for work. He was a man with a mission.”

    In addition to his academic duties, Dr. Jordan was a high official of the Bahai faith, a religion with more than 100,000 adherents in the United States and with roots in Iran, where Bahai has 400,000 members.

    Dr. Firuz Kazemzadeh, secretary of the National Spiritual Assembly of Bahai in the United States, of which Dr. Jordan was vice chairman, said last night that he had “no evidence” that the killing was related to Dr. Jordan's Bahai activities.

    “As far as we know,” Dr. Kazamzadeh said, “Dr. Jordan was in New York on a professional mission not related to his duties with Bahai. We are not aware that he contacted anyone from Bahai on this trip to New York.”

    Dr. Kazamzadeh said that because Bahai adherents in Iran have been subjected to “a campaign of extermination” there, any speculation of an Iranian terrorist link to Dr. Jordan's death without proof would be “very harmful to the Bahai in Iran.”

    The State Department has periodically reported over the past year that leaders of the Bahai faith have been executed by Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini's regime.

    CLUES LACKING IN DEAN SLAYING
    By SAMUEL G. FREEDMAN, SPECIAL TO THE NEW YORK TIMES

    Published: October 22, 1982

    STAMFORD, Conn., Oct. 21
    The police today pressed their investigation into the slaying of a California educator who was found stabbed to death here last Saturday.

    But the police said they had no clues, witnesses or evidence to indicate how the body of the 50-year-old educator, Dr. Daniel Jordan, ended up in a parking lot here.

    Dr. Jordan, who was dean of education at the National University in San Diego and a national leader of the Bahai faith, was killed somewhere else, according to George Mayer, the deputy police chief.

    The State Medical Examiner's office estimated that Dr. Jordan was killed less than 18 hours after he arrived in New York City on Oct. 15 to deliver a lecture on education the next morning. He telephoned at least one of his friends in New York City that evening, but apparently met with none before disappearing.

    Statement by F.B.I. Agent The chief said he could not comment on the statement Wednesday night by an official of the Federal Bureau of Investigation that Dr. Jordan might have been killed by a foreign terrorist organization because of his affiliation with the Bahai faith. He had served on its nine-member Spiritual Assembly in the United States since 1963. Members of the faith have been executed in Iran, according to the State Department.

    ''We don't know if that had anything to do with it at all,'' the chief said.

    Officials of the Bahai faith and friends of Dr. Jordan in New York City and near his home in California discounted religion as a possible motive in the slaying.

    ''There isn't any evidence in my mind that connects it,'' said Judge Daniel Nelson of Los Angeles Municipal Court, a friend of Dr. Jordan and a colleague on the Spiritual Assembly.

    Chief Mayer also said Dr. Jordan had not been killed with a sword, as the F.B.I. official had suggested, but with something ''similar to a pocket knife.''

  • Wyo-cowboy

    I am an old friend of Dan,and I too want to know who,and why.