The Department of Preventive Medicine has invited Walter Reuther, Vice President of the AFL-CIO, to speak at the Medical School, after he was rejected as Gay Lecturer on Medical Ethics in favor of Dr. James H. Means, Jackson Professor of Clinical Medicine, Emeritus.
Assistant Dean Joseph W. Gardella said last night that the Committee selecting the Gay Lecturer, who must receive Corporation approval, was unsure of Reuther's "qualifications." Gardella added that he and Dean George P. Berry then decided that Reuther "would be wholly inappropriate for a number of reasons," but he did not elaborate.
However, another member of the Committee, which is chaired by Gardella, disclosed that "the Committee was of the opinion that Reuther was a proper candidate for the Gay Lectureship." He added that the group then submitted his name to Berry, who decided that although the labor leader would be interesting for the students, he would not be suitable for the post of Gay Lecturer.
Student opinion was in favor of inviting Reuther to deliver the annual series, given last year by Supreme Court Justice Felix Frankfurter, the Committee member continued, and this may have been a factor in the decision of the Department of Preventive Medicine in asking him.
According to Gardella, Reuther, if he accepts the invitation, will probably speak on "how labor regards medicine," and what labor expects of the medical profession. Earlier this year, one of the medical advisers of the AFL-CIO lectured at the Medical School on the health program set up for UAW members in Detroit.
Reuther will most likely reply to the offer within a week. The former President of the United Auto Workers gave a lecture series in the fall on the problems of labor in American at Yale, where he was received by the student body with mixed reactions.