President Reagan yesterday appointed Dr. William Eugene Mayberry, chairman of the board of the Mayo Clinic, to head an 11-member commission on AIDS that will advise the White House on the disease's "public health dangers, including the medical, legal, ethical, social and economic impact."

White House spokesman Marlin Fitzwater, who announced Mayberry's appointment, said the commission's other members will be named soon. He described them as "outstanding people" who will be selected from the fields of epidemiology, insurance, public health, law and education.

Fitzwater reiterated the Reagan administration's intention not to appoint a representative of the gay community to the commission, despite the fact that nearly 75 percent of the more than 37,000 Americans diagnosed as having AIDS are homosexual men, according to public health statistics, and in most states gay groups have led the fight against the disease.

Fitzwater said the White House will search "far and wide for the best candidates" based on expertise, not sexual preference. Last month a group of distinguished scientists and researchers wrote to Reagan to protest the exclusion of openly gay people from the commission.

The selection of Mayberry, 57, an endocrinologist with no special expertise in AIDS, was greeted with skepticism by some public health officials who had pushed for the selection of Dr. Edward N. Brandt Jr., former assistant secretary of health. Brandt, chancellor of the University of Maryland at Baltimore, is respected by AIDS researchers and gay groups and has chaired a Maryland gubernatorial task force on AIDS.

Mayberry, who met with Reagan yesterday, could not be reached for comment. During a brief lunchtime meeting in the office of Sen. Rudy Boschwitz (R-Minn), he told Minnesota reporters that he thinks AIDS has become too politicized and hopes that the commission will treat it as a medical problem.

White House officials said Mayberry was chosen in part for his administrative skills. "When choosing a chairman, you're looking for someone with medical knowledge who can work with people and reconcile differences and has the reputation of being thoughtful and a conciliator," said White House domestic policy adviser Gary Bauer.

"There's a rationale for having someone {without expertise in AIDS} take a fresh look," said Dr. June Osborn, dean of the School of Public Health at the University of Michigan, "but that makes the panel's expertise all the more critical."

White House officials announced last month that the president would appoint an advisory commission to study AIDS' implications. According to the executive order that established the commission, a preliminary report is due within 90 days of the full panel's appointment and a final report next June.

Reagan ordered the panel to "recommend measures that federal, state and local officials can take to protect the public" from the AIDS virus, assist in finding a cure and care for the infected. Critics have questioned whether a presidential commission is the best way to achieve those goals.

"I wish Dr. Mayberry success," said Rep. Henry A. Waxman (D-Calif.), a critic of the administration's AIDS policies. "I'm skeptical about this commission . . . it was never clear to me why we need this panel" because other groups, including the National Academy of Sciences, have studied AIDS.

Mayberry, a native of Tennessee, is chief executive officer of the Mayo Foundation, which is based in Rochester, Minn.