FAYETTEVILLE -- A University of Arkansas, Fayetteville anthropology professor and department chairman is facing felony drug charges plus a felony drug-and-gun charge in Washington County Circuit Court.
Justin Murphy Nolan, 46, was booked into jail Tuesday and released on $3,500 bail, according to online jail records.
UA spokesman Steve Voorhies said Nolan on Wednesday stepped down as chairman of the university's Department of Anthropology.
"We are gathering more information, but he has also been placed on administrative leave indefinitely while these matters are pending," Voorhies said. The administrative leave is paid, Voorhies said. Nolan earned $107,110 annually as department chairman.
Court documents show Nolan has been charged with two felony counts and two misdemeanor counts of possessing a controlled substance, as well as a felony count of using a communication device "in furtherance of committing felony controlled substance transactions."
Nolan has also been charged with simultaneous possession of drugs and firearms related to possessing a controlled substance while having two pistols, a shotgun and a rifle, a court document states. The charge is also a felony.
The charging document filed in court states that all six criminal counts took place "on or about February 16, 2018." The document says that drugs possessed on the felony counts include Adderall and Phentermine, while marijuana is listed on a misdemeanor charge.
The Fayetteville resident joined the UA faculty in 2002, according the university's website.
Course records online show that he last taught a lecture course in the fall of last year, "Medical Anthropology." While on leave, Nolan will have research duties to be done from his home, Voorhies said.
Court documents show that a detective with the 4th Judicial District Drug Task Force was investigating Nolan.
Nolan's online biography on the UA website states that his research interests include "the study of humans and their relationships with native flora and fauna."
The university in 2016 announced his appointment as department chairman, describing him as "working with Native American and southern U.S. cultures."
His online biography states that he has worked with "communities throughout Cherokee Nation in Northeast Oklahoma on a project designed to safeguard and perpetuate Cherokee language and culture."
Nolan wrote a book, Wild Harvest in the Heartland: Ethnobotany in Missouri's Little Dixie, published in 2007. He served in 2011 and 2012 as president of the Society of Ethnobiology, according to the organization's website.
Metro on 04/26/2018
Print Headline: UA professor on administrative leave after he's charged in drug case