During Cheney's brief remarks, about a half-dozen people protesting the war in Iraq yelled, "War, what is it good for?" and held up a large banner saying, "Peace Now."
Cheney continued speaking and didn't acknowledge the protesters, who were escorted from the ceremony inside the University of Tennessee's basketball arena.
About 50 protesters, most of them appearing to be college age, demonstrated outside the arena. Several carried signs, including one that read "Honor Baker, Impeach Cheney."
Cheney said that Baker, a Republican who was President Reagan's chief of staff and ambassador to Japan, has brought tremendous credit to the university, to Tennessee and to the nation.
"It's good to know that far into the future people will come to this place and learn of Howard's career and his deep belief in the nobility of public service," Cheney said.
About 400 people attended ceremony, which coincided with Baker's 80th birthday.
The $25 million privately financed Baker Center is being created to foster greater appreciation of public service and understanding of government.
Baker is still remembered for posing a key question during the 1973 Watergate hearings that rocked the Nixon White House: "What did the president know and when did he know it?"