In 1940, the American Association of University Professors released a declaration on higher education in the United States that has since served as the foundational definition and defense of academic freedom. The declaration, titled “Statement of Principles on Academic Freedom and Tenure,” correctly acknowledged the rights of faculty to pursue lines of intellectual inquiry without interference, groupthink or other pressures. Nearly eight decades later, universities in the U.S. and throughout the world must confront the unpleasant and yet undeniable fact that this vision is at risk, both on campuses and in foreign academic partnerships. This semester, Cornell University had an unprecedented opportunity to face these risks, at least as they apply to its foreign engagements. The Cornell Political Union, a nonpartisan student-run debating society which I am a member of, hosted two speakers on the increasingly totalitarian pressures being asserted by the Chinese Communist Party at American universities.