Anderson, a former Stanford athletic fund raiser, has been athletic director at Maryland since 2010. He inherited a financial mess from his predecessor, Debbie Yow, who became AD at North Carolina State, and recently had to cut seven varsity sports.
A source close to the Maryland athletic program said Stanford officials and Anderson "have been talking salary for about a week now."
He would replace Bob Bowlsby, who left to become commissioner of the Big 12 Conference. Anderson, 57, would put Stanford in the rare position of having African Americans as athletic director, head football coach and head basketball coach.
Stanford and its search firm, Chicago-based Spencer Stuart, previously had targeted Northwestern's Jim Phillips, but he turned down an offer estimated at $1.4 million, according to the Chicago Tribune.
Two other athletic directors who had been mentioned as possible candidates, West Virginia's Oliver Luck - father of graduated Stanford star Andrew Luck - and Arkansas' Jeff Long, took themselves out of the running.
Anderson was AD at Army for six years before taking the Maryland job in 2010 and signing a five-year contract. In less than two years he has had to make some very difficult choices, including firing popular football coach Ralph Friedgen. He has said he took the job without fully knowing dire financial straits the athletic department was in.
The department has a deficit that is projected to surpass $4 million this fiscal year and could reach $17 million by 2017. Last year, according to press reports, his department had to borrow $1.2 million from the university to overcome its budget shortfall.
"People ask me what keeps me up at night, and this is what keeps me up at night," he said at a teleconference to announce the team cuts two weeks ago. "I didn't come to Maryland to cut sports."
Anderson is well respected by people who worked with him when he was director of annual giving for Stanford athletics from 1993-95.
"He's very bright and has a solid foundation from having worked at Stanford before," one of them said. "He has a lot of local knowledge. At Stanford knowing the territory is critical."
The Stanford AD position "has always been on his radar," another Stanford insider said.
The athletic department has been run by interim AD Patrick Dunkley since Bowlsby left in mid-June. It had been anticipated that the search committee, co-chaired by biology professor Robert Simoni and senior assistant to the president Jeff Wachtel, would finish its work by September. It evidently has done it much more quickly.
Two head coaching vacancies need to be filled. Lea Maurer resigned as women's swim coach to spend more time with her family, and Edrick Floreal, director of track and field for the past eight years, left for Kentucky.
Anderson has drawn fire at Maryland because the football team went 2-10 under first-year coach Randy Edsall, whom Anderson had lured from Connecticut to replace Friedgen.
Many Terp fans had hoped Anderson would hire former Texas Tech coach Mike Leach after bringing him to campus for an interview. Anderson and some on the search committee were turned off by Leach because, according to the Washington Post, his "mouth seemed to be as wide open as his offense." Leach wound up at Washington State.
Maryland's historically successful basketball program has gone two straight years without making postseason play. Longtime coach Gary Williams retired after the 2010-11 season, and Anderson replaced him with former Texas A&M coach Mark Turgeon.
The Stanford job would give Anderson a chance to flex his leadership muscles in a much better financial situation. The university is a perennial national title contender in many of its 35 varsity sports. It has won the Directors' Cup - emblematic of overall athletic department superiority -- for the last 18 years.
It also would let him return to the Bay Area. In addition to his work at Stanford, the San Francisco State graduate was an assistant AD at Cal for five years. He took a similar position at Oregon State for two years before taking over at Army in 2004. He and his wife, Moira, have four children.
He is currently the first vice president of the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics and will move up to president of that organization next year.
Question is......do you care? Personally, I think this is a blow to the school. KA has an increasing national presence and I think he will do great at Stanford.