The University of Montana has been awarded a nearly $300,000 federal grant to expand its efforts to address violence against women on campus.

Montana Sens. Max Baucus and Jon Tester announced the Justice Department grant Monday. It is available through the Violence Against Women Act.

UM Professor of Counselor Studies John Sommers-Flanagan says the grant will be used for a variety of purposes, one of which will be to fund the position of director of student assault programming, as well as many other on-campus activities. Sommers-Flanagan says he hopes the funding will help improve the University's response to violence against students.

The Justice Department is investigating the way the university and its campus police, Missoula police and the county attorney's office handle reports of sexual assault.

Professor John Sommers-Flanagan