President Reagan's administration, often a battleground of conflicting ideas and personalities during his first term, will remain basically intact as he begins another four years in office.
"He doesn't want to break up a winning team," White House chief of staff James A. Baker III said. "That means everybody."
Aides said, however, that deputy chief of staff Michael K. Deaver, the staff member with the closest personal ties to the president and Nancy Reagan, may leave after he directs the inaugural ceremonies to go into private business. Deaver, the architect of Reagan's schedule and media strategy during much of the president's first term, has said he has made no decision.
The decision to make no changes in major policy jobs could perpetuate many internal conflicts of the first term, in the view of administration insiders.
These conflicts were especially evident in arms control, where a succession of national security advisers struggled to form coherent policy from conflicting proposals by specialists in the departments of State and Defense. Reagan has been accused by critics of staying distant from this process.
Today, at a news conference here before he departed for a brief vacation at his Santa Barbara ranch, Reagan virtually dismissed the question of intra-administration feuding.
"We don't have a conflict within the Cabinet," he said. "We're united on the idea of arms control . . . and we're prepared to go forward with the arms-control talks."
Reagan said in an interview with The Washington Post on Tuesday that he expects the Soviets to bargain seriously on arms control during the next four years.
In an effort to resolve the conflicts that Reagan today declined to recognize, administration officials have talked privately of selecting an "arms-control envoy" -- they are trying to avoid calling him a "czar" -- who could unify conflicting proposals and deal with the Soviets. The name of Brent Scowcroft, national security adviser to President Gerald R. Ford, has been mentioned for this prospective post.
But Baker emphasized today in response to repeated questions that this proposal was only "under consideration" and had not been agreed to by the president.
Reagan said the idea had been just one of the proposals discussed with the Soviets to "establish some separate, informal channel so that we could keep in touch . . . ."
In discussions among administration officials, this idea has been related to what Reagan talked about today as "umbrella negotiations" with the Soviets on arms.
The idea would be to launch a series of negotiations with the Soviets that would include talks on limiting strategic and intermediate-range nuclear missiles as well on banning nuclear weapons in space. As envisioned, this would be a face-saving idea for both superpowers. The United States would like to renew talks on banning the strategic and intermediate-range missiles, which the Soviets abandoned in Geneva.
The Soviets are considered anxious to make progress on what they call the "demilitarization of space."
Policy and personnel considerations on arms controls are complicated by another decision: what to do with U.N. Ambassador Jeane J. Kirkpatrick. Reagan is described as anxious to keep her in his administration, and Kirkpatrick has made it known that she would like a different job.
One proposal, considered a "live option" by one well-placed administration source, is to move Kirkpatrick into the White House as personal adviser to the president.
If this happened, however, and if Scowcroft or another prominent figure became arms-control envoy, the step presumably would limit the role of national security adviser Robert C. McFarlane, who has forged close ties with Baker.
McFarlane has denied that he may become ambassador to Israel, replacing Samuel W. Lewis, but some in the administration think he would make the move if asked to by Reagan. "The entire question is unresolved," one official said. "It's going to take some time to work out."
Conservatives, long distrustful of Baker and presidential assistant Richard G. Darman, are eager to have Kirkpatrick in the White House. They also would like to see Edwin Meese III, whom Reagan has promised to renominate as attorney general, play an active role in personnel decisions in the next two months. And they would like to have Interior Secretary William P. Clark, a Reagan intimate and former national security adviser, heavily involved. But as of today, Clark reportedly will stay at Interior.
Insiders say Meese has indicated that he intends to play an active role at the White House in the next few months while waiting for his expected Senate confirmation and has supervised the quiet drafting of plans for a second Reagan term.
At the same time, other White House aides have been considering a consolidation under Baker when Meese leaves. Among those expected to get expanded responsibilities are Darman and Craig L. Fuller, assistant to the president for Cabinet affairs. Other White House aides expected to remain under Baker include M.B. Oglesby, the congressional liaison, and John A. Svahn, domestic policy adviser.
Reagan is expected to nominate director of public liaison Faith Ryan Whittlesey to a federal appeals court judgeship.