There is a very old question, when it comes to faculty evaluations and promotions: whether we measure scientific accomplishments by the quality of publications or by the amount of money raised? The question may sound weird, but there is a history of discussions behind it.
In any American research university, there are three main responsibilities of a faculty member: (1) teaching, (2) research, and (3) service. Teaching is obvious and well understood by both academics and the broad community. Service is considered least important of the three, and it includes service for the university on various committees and for the profession (for example, reviewing grant proposals and articles, organizing conferences, editing journals etc.).
However, defining research is tricky, because it is not clear who is supposed to fund this activity. And the one who pays usually defines things.