Public Administration ETDs

Publication Date



The early nineteenth century passion for popular control of government hampered administrative efficiency. Thus, while state government became fixed in a mold of administrative rigidity, industrial growth and technological advancement flourished around inappropriate and unresponsive state administrations. As a result, demands for new services, greater efficiency in administration, and more popularly responsive government grew simultaneously. Compounding these demands for greater efficiency and responsiveness were the multitude of elective executive offices sharing responsibility for conducting various segments of state administration. There was no one who properly could be held responsible for state government as a whole. Most governors were elected to short and limited terms, resulting in continued turnover among governors and top administrative personnel, and restricting the opportunity for long-range planning and executive expertise. The movement for executive reorganization began gathering momentum with the advent of the twentieth century. However, it was not until Illinois reorganized in 1917 that a notable success was achieved. Since that date, almost every state has experienced one, if not several, reorganizations. Despite this long history, there is no universal agreement among authorities concerning which theories of organization are valid or which goals of reorganization should have the priority. It is the position of this thesis that competent state governments are a vital necessity to meet the increasing demands for solutions of difficult problems. Yet, the structures of state government for the most part are inadequate to meet these demands. A great deal of this inadequacy is due to executive weakness. Only a few states provide their governors with the means for exercising administrative authority commensurate with their responsibility. Independent officials, agencies, boards and commissions abound, and inhibit many governors. The structure of the executive branch of New Mexico state government is no exception, and it is the government of New Mexico that is analyzed in order to illustrate the validity of the preceding hypotheses. New Mexico became a state during the beginning of the movement for executive reorganization, yet, the framers of the Constitution apparently paid little attention if any to this movement, and established a weak" executive form of government. It is this structure of the executive branch that for the most part still exists today. Of particular concern to this study is the role of science and technology in state government. It is recognized that many of the society's more critical problems such as environmental control, education, urban-rural interaction, housing and economic development are areas which for the most part have been the responsibility of state and local government. As a result, many states have begun experimenting with various types of science agencies designed to provide scientific and technological inputs to the governmental decision-making process. In summary, it is the conclusion of this thesis that governors are not granted authority commensurate with their Constitutional responsibility.

Degree Name

Public Administration

Level of Degree


Department Name

School of Public Administration

First Committee Member (Chair)

John Mace Hunger

Second Committee Member

Frank Xavier Steggert

Third Committee Member

David R. Jones


The National Aeronautics and Space Administration



Document Type