Institutions of higher education are constantly facing economic challenges to their survival. Nowhere are the challenges greater than in small private colleges and universities across America. None of these colleges can assume that its stability is assured in perpetuity. No thriving college is immune from unforeseen disaster, just as no struggling college is irreversibly destined for closure.This issue presents stories of colleges in crisis and considers what makes the difference between a college that closes and one that nearly closes but manages to remain open. It offers a range of revealing, hard-won experiences of college presidents who led their campuses in times of crises. Some colleges found no way out, and their stories offer lessons that are just as valuable as the stories of colleges that reinvented themselves and survived.This is the 156th volume of the Jossey-Bass quarterly report series New Directions for Higher Education. Addressed to higher education decision makers on all kinds of campuses, it provides timely information and authoritative advice about major issues and administrative problems confronting every institution.