In a statement shared via social media platform Douban on Sunday, he said that he had hoped to continue teaching at the university but was not offered a contract for the next academic year. Reached by Reuters, Hessler said he declined to comment beyond the statement. "I want to emphasize that I have greatly enjoyed being back in the classroom after more than twenty years," the statement said. The statement said Hessler and his family would return to Colorado in the summer, and did not elaborate on why his contract was not renewed.
Hessler's friend He Yujia, who posted the statement on his behalf, said it appeared to have been subsequently removed from Douban and she was not notified. Neither the institute, the New Yorker, China's Foreign Ministry nor Douban immediately replied to requests for comment. Hessler, 51, has written four well-known books in English on China since he first moved as a U.S. Peace Corps volunteer English teacher in the mid-1990s to a small city in the southwest, which became the basis for his 2001 non-fiction book "River Town".