NIATEC SDSC Scholarship Research



About The Center for Decision Support

What is the Simplot Decision Center?

The Simplot Decision Support Center (SDSC) is a facility designed to increase group decision making effectiveness and efficiency. The physical facility is valued in excess of $950,000. It is a research and development effort of Idaho State University resulting from the generosity of the Simplot Corporation. The Simplot Decision Support Center if one of only a few dedicated facilities in the nation and is available as a resource to both local and national organizations.

Committees are the most common form of group decision making we encounter. As we all know, most people love committee meetings. They rank just above a root canal without anesthesia as their favorite activity. The bad reputation of committees stems from a fundamental flaw -- the way participants interact before, during and after the meeting. Despite their reputations, the literature shows that well run groups generally make better decisions by increasing the interaction among individuals.

What Types of Problems Does the SDSC Address?

Some items that lead to non productive meetings are:

  • An abandoned agenda.
  • Decisions were not reached.
  • Plans for follow-up were not made.
  • The meeting notes and recommendations are not documented.
  • One person tried to dominate the discussion.
  • Individuals with valid contributions did not make them.
  • Creative ideas were limited by negative comments

The SDSC is designed to support the Group Decision Support systems (GDSS) process. This process improves the quality of group decisions by removing the most frequent impediments to good decision making.

Simplot Decision Support Center Users

The Simplot Decision Support Center attracts users from around the world to Pocatello, Idaho:

Westinghouse Smithsonian Microsoft
New York Stock Exchange Federal Express Corporation Flight Safety International
Racore Computer Products Logicon Rocky Mountain Consortium
ISC2 FMC Monsanto Co.
Center For Information Systems Security Information Security Institute Information Systems Security Association
International Federation For Information Processing National Computer Security Center Federal Information Systems Security Educators Association
Federal Computer Security Program Managers' Forum Mason and Hanger National National Cryptologic School
Rockwell International Corporation American Microsystems Incorporation US House of Representatives
Bureau of Indian Affairs Department of Agriculture Department of Commerce
Department of Defense Department of Education Department of Energy
Department of Interior Department of Justice Department of Labor
Defense Logistics Agency Department of State Department of Treasury
US Postal Service General Accounting Office Indian Health Service
General Services Administration Health and Human Services Administration Federal Bureau of Investigation
National Institute of Standards National Security Agency Naval Post-Graduate School
Social Security Administration Public Health Service Federal Aviation Administration
US Army US Air Force US Navy
US Marshals Service Office of Naval Research US Marines Corp
Denver Research Institute MIS Training Institute  

Scheduling the Simplot Center

The center can be scheduled by contacting Jim Frost at (208) 236-4549 Or send e-mail to Jim Frost (

Ask about our frequent users or patron pricing schedule!

Scheduling the portable decision support center

The Center for Decision Support has the ability to deploy a fully operational support center to your facility. In addition to deploying locally, we have hosted sessions in Washington, DC, San Francisco, CA, Salt Lake City, UT, Baltimore, MD, Toronto, Canada, and Seattle, WA.

The portable center can be scheduled by contacting Jim Frost at (208) 236-4549 Or send e-mail to Jim Frost (

Ask about our frequent users or patron pricing schedule!

In the News

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If you note any difficulty with this site please send mail to Nathan Wingert. This page is provided as a courtesy of The Center for Decision Support at Idaho State University