Leader of N.C. Research Campus resigns

Published 3:10 pm Monday, April 20, 2015

The President of Castle and Cooke’s North Carolina branch Lynne Scott Safrit, an integral part of N.C. Research Campus’ development, announced her resignation Monday.

Safrit didn’t site a specific reason for her resignation in a letter posted to the Research Campus’ website and declined an interview.

In an emailed statement, Safrit would only say: “After 33 years I am excited to have some new opportunities, and that I want the chance to spend more time with Wally, Elizabeth, Wil and my dogs.”

Safrit has been a part of the N.C. Research Campus since its inception. As the president of Castle and Cooke, she oversaw the development of the North Carolina Research Campus and other real estate development properties in North Carolina.

No replacement for Safrit has been named. In the online letter, Safrit said “I will be involved as requested by Castle & Cooke in transitioning my responsibilities to others.”

The research campus has lagged behind initial projections for growth, but currently employs just under 1,100 people. It’s home to a conglomerate of universities from around North Carolina, including the University of North Carolina System. The latest available financial statistics for the research campus show total revenue at the David H. Murdock Research Institute at $11.4 million and expenses at $15.9 million. The figures don’t include the annual endowment by Murdock in fall 2014, a $15 million annual endowment.

A Kannapolis native, Safrit graduated cum laude with from Catawba College in 1980 and an received a master’s degree from the University of North Carolina in Charlotte in 1981. She earned her Ph.D. in Public Health in May 2014 from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

She is involved in a number of civic organizations and boards, including: the Board of Trustees at Catawba College, the Board of Directors at the Bank of the Carolinas, the Board of Directors for the Gertrude Hinson Charitable Trust, the Board of Directors for the North Carolina Biotechnology Center, President of the Board of Directors for the Cabarrus County Economic Development Corporation, the Advisory Board for University of North Carolina at Charlotte College of Health and Human Services,  the Board of  Directors for the North Carolina Arboretum and the Advisory Board of the College of Health Sciences at Appalachian State University.

Contact reporter Josh Bergeron at 704-797-4246